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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

The Lunatics Guide to Holiday Horror

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

On this week's episode Abby and Alan discuss the origins of Holiday Horror. Why, historically, we have seen a link between dark stories and this time of year. We end the episode by discussing some notable examples of Holiday Horror Films. As promised, here is your companion post.

Early Holiday Horror Films

The Devil Doll from 1936. Was directed by Tod Browning and stars Lionel Barrymore. Set around Christmas time, an escaped convict uses tiny humans (which a scientist has figured out how to do) to get his revenge. 7/10 rating on IMDB and 79% on Rotten Tomato. Currently available (at time of publish) to rent on Prime, Vudu and Apple.

The Curse of the Cat People from 1944. Directed by Robert Wise and Gunther von Fritsch. Written by DeWitt Bodeen and stars Simone Simon and Kent Smith.

Dead of Night from 1945, is an anthology horror film. Each segment is directed by a different director, and adapts stories from different writers, including HG Wells. One particular segment, called A Christmas Party fits our theme. It was written by Angus MacPhil.

Modern Holiday Horror Films

Black Christmas from 1974. Directed by Bob Clarke, and written by Roy Moore. The film stars Margot Kidder and Olivia Hussey. It tells the story of a group of college girls, living in a house together, who are terrorized by a stalker around the holidays. You can currently stream Black Christmas, the original on Peacock, Tubi, Crackle, Vudu, Amazon.

Christmas Evil from 1980 was written and directed by Lewis Jackson. It stars Brandon Maggart and Dianne Hull. Currently streaming on Hulu, Sling and Tubi.

Gremlins from 1984 was directed by Joe Dante, starring Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates. Currently streaming on Hulu, Hbo, Sling.

Silent Night, Deadly Night from 1984 was directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr. A young boy who is traumatized as a kid, has flashbacks as an adult and embarks on a murderous holiday ramage.

Ultra Modern Holiday Horror

Rare Exports (2010) Directed by Jalmari Helander. Starring Onni Tommila and Jorma Tommila. Currently streaming on Pluto, Hulu, Tubi, Crackle.

A Christmas Horror Story (2015) Anthology/Interwoven stories that all take place on Christmas Eve. Starring William Shatner.

Krampus (2015). Starring Adam Scott and Toni Collete.

Better Watch Out (2016). Starring Levi Miller and Olivia DeJonge. Currently on Tubi, Pluto, Peacock, Vudu.

Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) Horror Holiday Zombie Musical. Currently streaming on Pluto TV.

Filmed in Glasgow, Scotland. Directed by John Mcphail, Starring Ella Hunt.

Black Christmas (2019). In 2019 Black Christmas was remade, directed by Sophia Takal. Currently streaming on HBO Max, Hulu, and Prime.

The Lodge (2019). Psychological horror thriller film directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. It premiered at Sundance in 2019. You can currently stream it on Hulu.

Happy Holidays! All my love,


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