Five of the best Christmas inspired horror movies for your 2022 festive viewing, according to Rotten Tomatoes

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We know, we know - not another repeat of It’s A Wonderful Life! What about some thrill and scares this Christmas Eve instead?

Tired of the constant influx of holiday season rom-coms and melodramas that seem to permeate television over the Christmas period? Is Die Hard not enough of a palate cleanser over the likes of Love Actually or Frozen? Or are you just wanting a little white knuckle entertainment to add some excitement to your Christmas holidays?

We hear some of you - and we can appreciate that despite the goodwill among men the season is meant to bring, sometimes you just want that little dose of Christmas carnage to cut through the sugary-sweetness of Christmas TV viewing and the deluge of mince pies one might consume across the festive period.

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The idea of a Christmas themed horror movie isn’t a recent concept; rewind to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and you’ll see  death and ghosts rear their ugly heads, as Ebeneezer Scrooge is shocked into changing his ways. Santa has also played the villain in a number of movies - be it the controversy surrounding 80s grindhouse flick Silent Night, Deadly Night or the Z-movie Santa’s Slay starring one Bill Goldberg (of WCW fame) playing the titular character.

Though away from the more obscure movie titles, some are quick to forget that the ever popular Gremlins, featuring Gizmo the Mogwai, was a Christmas horror movie upon its first release, while recently the movie Krampus starring Adam Scott (of Parks and Recreation/Severance fame) managed to trump all expectations and end up becoming a number one hit in the US box office.

We’ve scanned through movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes to bring you an alternative selection of Christmas scares (that don’t involve ruining Christmas dinner) to shudder your way through Christmas this year.

Top five Christmas horror movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010 - 90%)

Synopsis: It’s the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an ‘archeological’ dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn’t the one you want coming to town. When the local children begin to mysteriously disappear, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig.

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Santa’s elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity.

Better Watch Out (2016 - 86%)

Synopsis: On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion. From the shockingly raunchy dialogue to the ironic yuletide pop songs, this movie is a fun kind of nasty, wrote The Los Angeles Times.

Gremlins (86%)

Synopsis: a cute little "mogwai" spawns demented demons when his young owner disregards the advice given by its previous owner. A horror-comedy about cute little Christmas toys/pets who turn into murderous monsters wreaking havoc on a Norman Rockwellian town. There’s a moral there someplace, the Chicago Tribune wrote.

Anna and The Apocalypse (2017 - 77%)

Synopsis: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven - at Christmas - forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

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Black Christmas (1974- 71%)

As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls. Initially, Barb eggs the caller on, but stops when he responds threateningly. Soon, Barb’s friend Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose. But no one realises just how near the culprit is.

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