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Holidays Films to Make Your Christmas Scary

Posted December 09, 2009 to photo album "Holidays Films to Make Your Christmas Scary"

If you're feeling all Scrooge this holiday season, then Nick Dawson's selection of movies that take a darker look at Christmas is perfect for you.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Black Christmas (1974)
Slide 3: The Passions of Carol (1975)
Slide 4: To All A Good Night (1980)
Slide 5: Christmas Evil (1980)
Slide 6: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Slide 7: Elves (1989)
Slide 8: Santa Claws (1996)
Slide 9: Jack Frost (1996)
Slide 10: 'R Xmas (2001)
Slide 11: Santa’s Slay (2005)
Slide 6: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Slide 6: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Initially it was only independent filmmakers who dared to pollute the purity of Yuletide with a darker or more sordid take on the holidays, but in 1984 TriStar Pictures decided to get in on the act with Silent Night, Deadly Night. In a similar vein to Christmas Evil – i.e., its protagonist is a man scarred by bad Xmas memories who becomes a vengeful Santa – the movie was released in November 1984 with a plan to go wide by Christmastime. However, the reaction to the film was toxic: there were angry protests at malls and theaters, Siskel and Ebert listed the movie’s principal producers one by one, each time saying “Shame, shame,” and Leonard Maltin wrote, "What's next, the Easter Bunny as a child molester?" The film was pulled as a result and later released in 1986 by an independent distributor. However, the controversy surrounding it ultimately lead to the movie achieving cult status, and not only was there the 1987 Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2––essentially a redux version of the first movie without some of the misogynistic brutality­­––but there were also a further three sequels made between 1989 and 1991.