I’m in Facebook group called The Big Gay Horror Fan Club, and a few days ago someone posted a great prompt. They were looking for Christmas movies to pair together with Christmas horror movies. Considering a lot of holiday festivities will have to be cancelled or reworked this year, I wanted to share some suggestions that came to my mind if you are looking to watch some Christmas movie double features. I focused on my favorite Christmas horror movies (although it hurt to exclude Garbage Day as a featured short).
Black Christmas (1974)/A Christmas Story
I was recently reminded the late Bob Clark directed one of the most iconic Christmas horror movies AND the most iconic Christmas comedies. Bonus: both feature memorable decorations in a window (although the one in Black Christmas is much more subtle and horrifying).
Home Alone/Better Watch Out
This double feature came up a lot in the Facebook group post for good reason. The classic tale of a home invasion foiled by a precocious boy is given a sinister makeover in the clever and criminally underseen Better Watch Out. The latter film also shows a much more realistic depiction of what happens if you swing a full can of paint at a person’s head. Although I’d usually vouch to start with the horror film and end on the palate cleanser, Better Watch Out explicitly references Home Alone so it makes sense to watch Home Alone first.
Krampus/National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Although Krampus goes for dark, acerbic wit and National Lampoon veers towards slapstick and dad jokes, both films feature dysfunctional families cooped up together for Christmas who need to be reminded about the true reason for the season.
Die Hard/Black Christmas (2006)
If you actually plan on double featuring a Christmas movie and a Christmas horror movie, chances are you are not one to follow tradition. Both these films involve a man creeping around the structure of a building and sneaking up on people. But as untraditional as both are, the 2006 Black Christmas is dripping with dark Christmas spirit from the ever present “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” to the excessive red and green lighting to the dialogue, so it packs enough perverse Christmas references to balance out Die Hard‘s more subdued Christmas spirit.
Silent Night, Deadly Night/Office Christmas Party
A reminder that work Christmas parties are usually never a good idea, especially when Santa takes his job a bit too far.
Gremlins/Any Holiday RomCom but Preferably Happiest Season
Okay hear me out on this one. Gremlins, much like the often polarizing Hallmark-driven Christmas romcom formula, involves a cute little outsider coming to a smalltown for Christmas only to provide a much needed shake up the town’s sense of structure and decorum. And although Gizmo may not find true love, Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates sure do.
If you are overwhelmed by the options, go with Happiest Season. Much like Billy’s father in Gremlins, Harper brings home an adorable companion (in this case her girlfriend Abby). But bringing Abby home comes with a set of rules to avoid chaos. Inevitably, rules are broken and Abby’s presence leads to an increase of outsiders in the small town including her zany best friend John. Like Gremlins, Abby and Harper’s wild adventures culminate with an optimistic ending that helps the central family learn some valuable lessons. Unlike Gremlins, no one needs to get melted by the sun at the end, so both films result in victories all around.
My Plans This Year
As I mentioned previously, I always rewatch the 2006 Black Christmas while wrapping gifts. This year, I’m planning on a hat trick by watching all three Black Christmas films back to back on Christmas Eve. I have a feeling I might even like the 2019 Black Christmas a bit more after some time and distance (I hope). Or I’ll just drink some extra eggnog and laugh.
For more Christmas Horror Movies check out: