Gothtober Before Christmas: Watch the scariest holiday movies ever
What comes to mind when you think of Christmas holiday movies? Hallmark Channel jumps in the first thing, doesn’t it? Warm & fuzzy vibes of part-cringeworthy, part-adorable love tales, at least one of the protagonist’s very picturesque obsession with snow à la Gilmore Girls – that’s the Hallmark aesthetic capturing the merriment.
This year too, Hallmark Channel will debut 23 Countdown to Christmas originals & Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will debut 17 Miracles of Christmas movies. But if you’ll hear us out, we suggest that you take the road less taken: treat yourself to a scary movie marathon to get into the holiday mood. After all, Halloween is what kick starts the festivities.
Here are some scary movies to add to your holiday watchlist. If that annoying relative thinks you’re weird for doing this, they’re not getting a Christmas gift this year.
A Christmas Carol
Who didn’t love the Charles Dickens’ eponymous novella? A Christmas Carol is a classic holiday tale, with a plot that preaches about forgiveness, greed, and generosity. The arc follows a change-of-heart, too. It even gave us the collective name for all holiday spoilsports, Scrooge. We’ll say it: Dickens really nailed it.
The novella has seen numerous remakes for the screen over the years. It made it to this list because it’s also a ghost story, above everything else. Our protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, is visited by the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future. They hold up a mirror to him, bringing awareness of the wasteful life that he’s living, filled with hatred.
The ghosts in A Christmas Carol are very scathing in their revelations; they’re definitely not mincing their words. Nothing’s more terrifying than knowing that your life can turn out to be an absolute nightmare.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Another classic on the block, The Nightmare Before Christmas comes with a recommendation in its title itself. Even though the plot is fairly predictable, it owes its iconic status to the background score, the animation, and the plot.
Under the expert conception by Tim Burton, this 1993 American stop-motion animated musical dark fantasy film creates a fun, weird tale around the festive season, from Halloween to Christmas.
The Gingerdead Man
What happens when a manuscript written by John Grisham, the king of legal thrillers, is discarded? You make a movie based on it. The result is The Gingerbread Man where a shoddy brand of horror takes centre stage.
The premise of the movie is that The Gingerdead Man has been created with a mix of gingerbread spice mix & the ashes of deceased serial killer Millard Findlemeyer. Interspersed with humour, it’s the perfect pick for a group watch session.
We agree we have a thing for classics that combine horror with comedy. In Gremlins, goth horror is redefined as a young kid, Billy, receives a mogwai as a pet gift. On the face of it, the mogwai is one of the most adorable creatures you’ve ever laid your eyes on. Dig deeper & you’ll find that this creature can spawn other little, evil monsters. Just what a kid needs.
This mogwai’s evilness has a certain hilarity to it in that he’s mischievous more than he’s dangerous, but the larger theme that undergirds this plot is what steals the show. Gremlins uses this evil monster as a tool to create a larger narrative on the commodification of the holidays & the capitalist preposterousness that drives it.
The plot tropes in Gremlins can seem ancient & dated, but they work to create a true satirical horror depicting the invasion of capitalism in our lives. The movie’s also seeing a revival of sorts in a prequel, called Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, slated to be released in 2021.