With the exception of Halloween, Christmas is the most popular time of year when it comes to horror movies. Krampus, Deadly Games, and Black Christmas are just a sampling of horror movies centered around the most wonderful time of the year. So what makes the holiday season perfect for scary movies?
Some of the theories are obvious ones that most of us have heard most of our lives. If you rearrange the letters in “SANTA” you get “SATAN”. In other countries Santa Claus is more about creating fear than giving presents. Large bearded men in bright red suits are frightening any time of year. There is some truth in all of those reasons, but there is more to Christmas horror movies.
The setting is an easy one for horror, and if there is one thing the genre is not above, it is lazy writing. Horror movies are known for its myriad of tropes, so it only makes sense that so many people would turn to the holidays for their scary movie idea. It’s not hard to picture how the meeting went down when the first Christmas horror was pitched.
“I got a great idea for my movie. Christmas is supposed to be happy and fun. Let’s make it scary!”
“That’s great! What will it be about?”
“Huh? I just told you. It will be a regular scary movie but during Christmas.”
Slashers, home invasion, and zombie movies have all come out during the holiday season. Aside from wreaths and decorated trees, did they bring anything new to horror? Not really. Are they fun and worth seeing? In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes.
Christmas also has a vibe that works well with horror. It is chilly and has an air of depression around it. Fireplaces and seasonal decorations are the perfect backdrop. The sun sets earlier, leaving things grey and gloomy. For all the slashers that take place at summer camps, it is the last month of the year that is more terrifying.
October is more than just the spookiest month. It is the start of the scariest time of the year. Halloween easily owns horror, but Christmas is right behind it. Every sub genre is represented and there are even some classics to be found. The time of year adds to the suspense and terror while the setting lays the groundwork for some easy scares.
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