Anne Marie here to spread some holiday scares. Friday the 13th has crept up on us again, bringing joy to thousands of horror fans. If you're a Christmas lover, then these three movies should scratch that holiday horror movie itch. And if you hate the holiday season, then that's all the more reason to watch an evil naked Santa go on a murder spree.
Black Christmas (1976) - This is considered a slasher classic alongside its more famous calendar-themed cousin, Halloween. Black Christmas follows a group of sorority sisters in what I swear must be Canada as a deranged unseen killer picks them off one by one. The cast alone is worth the watch: Olivia Hussey six years after Romeo & Juliet, Margot Kidder two years before Superman, and Andrea Martin twenty six years before she fondled John Corbett's hair and offered him lamb in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. While the kills themselves are relatively tame by today's ridiculously gory standards, the true chills in the film come from the babbling and screaming phone calls the killer makes to the sorority house every time he claims a new victim.I should point out that Black Christmas was remade in 2006. However, I'm hoping that a Christmas miracle will happen and the remake will be vanish, never to be seen again.
Gremlins (1984) - The Gremlins are proof that giving your kid a pet for Christmas can be a very, very bad idea. This 80's classic strikes a very difficult balance. On the one hand, it is adorable, as when the fluffy mogwai Gizmo drives a toy car around a department store for the last third of the film. On the other hand, it can be downright violent, as when the gremlins murder a neighbor by causing her stairlift to fling her out a window. Overall, the flim tends to err on the side of campy humor: Gremlins get drunk, breakdance, and mostly act like tiny, lizard-like bros at a frat party. This mischief and mayhem make Gremlins the most light-hearted movie on this list. Fun trivia: Gremlins is actually responsible (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) for the creation of the PG-13 rating. Apparently the MPAA agreed that mogwais were too cute for an R rating but too bloody for a PG one instead.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Story (2010) - "He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows when you've been bad or good. And he doesn't give a ****!" Finnish horror movies have a strange sense of humor. In Rare Exports, an archaeological dig uncovers an old man with a long white beard frozen in stasis. When he awakens, he immediately starts kidnapping children and hauling them away in potato sacks. For this monster is only the helper to Santa Claus. The true Father Christmas is far, far worse. This movie gets serious points for being one of the most bizarre reinterpretations of the Santa Claus mythos. On top of that, it's an engaging, funny, scary movie. I promise you'll never look at mall Santas the same way again.
What scary ghost stories do you save for the holidays? Post your Friday the 13th suggestions below. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fright