As one of the classic films in the horror genre, Leprechaun, by default, must find a place as one of the all-time greats within the holiday horror sub-genre. Our killer is a weird, creepy and very comical Leprechaun who has been trapped in a lonely basement. When he is finally able to escape, well, you can guess what happens next. And being introduced to us for the first time on the big screen, is the pre-nose job Jennifer Aniston. Although she publicly despises the role, she was great as the young and very likeable, Tory Redding. With Leprechaun spawning multiple sequels and having a strong fan base, don’t count out the possibility of a remake coming in the near future to cash in on it’s cult following.
OK so this movie isn’t great…and honestly it’s not even good, and that’s kinda the point. It’s a low budget, 85 minute film ($3,500) about a turkey killing off a group of teens during their Thanksgiving break. So grab some friends and a few beers because with the amateur acting, the bad effects and a crazy turkey, you’ll be in for a fun night.
8. April Fool’s Day
In the 1980′s, if there was a holiday, there was a horror movie. Christmas got “Silent Night, Deadly Night” and “Black Christmas”, prom got “Prom Night”, birthdays got “Happy Birthday to Me”, Graduation Day got…umm…”Graduation Day”, New Years Eve got “New Years Evil”, and Halloween got…umm….”Halloween”. Okay, so creativity was never a strong suit of the slasher genre. My favorite slasher holiday guilty pleasure will be the one I’ll be watching in less than 12 hours. “April Fools Day”. Seriously, this movie has everything. Amy Steel from “Friday the 13th: Part 2″? Check! Deborah Foreman from the criminally underrated “Waxwork”. Check! The overgrown bully from “Back to the Future”? Check! A surprise twist ending? Double check! The plot is quite simple. A group of eight college friends (each more annoying than the next) gather together at an island mansion belonging to heiress Muffy St. John to celebrate their final year of school. They soon discover that each has a hidden secret from their past which is revealed, and soon after, they turn up dead. Yet, are they really dead? Or is it just part of some very real and cruel April Fool’s jokes? The hostess, Muffy, is the only one who apparently knows what’s going on. But then again, is it really her doing the killing? Take a break this April Fools from tricking your friends and treat them with this fine 80′s slasher.
7. Trick r Treat
This is one of the best horror films to be released in the past few years. The cinematography within this movie is breathtaking. From the warm glow of the Halloween block party to the dark and eerie swamp, any frame in this film could be stand alone as a photo on your wall. With outstanding acting, an amazing soundtrack, a screenplay to die for and what very well could be, if marketed right, then next great horror icon: Sam. If you haven’t yet seen this film, you are missing out on a great piece of art. So go ahead, treat yourself.
Keep it away from direct light, never to allow it to have contact with water and, above all, never feed it after midnight. These rules have been sewn into popular culture since Gremlins was released in 1984. Unique in the way that it is a horror movie that was marketed toward kids. It a story about a father who buys a little furry creature who requires much more responsibility then anyone has the patients for. Produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Joe Dante, this film is a must see around Christmas time if you need to get away from the holiday chaos that we all know too well.
5. Happy Birthday to Me
One of the better murder mysteries whodunits from the early 1980’s. Virginia is proud that she belongs to a clique. The best students at a private school. But before her 18th birthday, a grueling set of murders take place and her friends are the ones who are falling prey. Could it be her? She suffers from blackouts due to a freak accident one year earlier. We soon learn the truth behind her accident and what is going on. Great twist ending with a lot of really fun deaths.
4. My Bloody Valentine (1981, 2009)
There’s a big valentine-party planned in the little coal mining town of Valentine Bluffs, Nova Scotia. It is the first Valentine’s Day party in 20 years, because then there was an accident in the mine, and the accident happened because the men responsible for the security was at the party. The sole surviving miner, named Harry Warden, later killed them, and told the town NEVER to arrange a Valentine’s Day party again. The party begins, and so does the killing. Both versions of this film are a lot of fun with the 2009 version really amping up the gore. The murder mystery element is by far the weakest part of both plots but the ending is a rarity in the horror world.
3. Halloween (1978, 2009)
15 years ago, 6 year old Michael Myers brutally killed his older sister. The silent child was incarcerated in the Smith’s Grove Sanitarium under the care of psychiatrist Sam Loomis. The town of Haddonfield had slowly began to forget the tragic crime, until Loomis returned to the town to warn of Myers escape from Smith’s Grove. With Michael set on killing a group of high school students, Loomis seeks the help of the hesitant town sheriff to stop him before it’s too late. I am one of the few horror fans out there that prefer Rob Zombie’s “Halloween” to John Carpenter’s “Halloween”. I know, it’s blasphemy and I will go down in horror hell for saying such a thing. But I personally love the back story that Zombie gave Michael and feel as though everything about the film (from the acting to the directing to use of music) is just about perfect. To ignore the seminal classic would be an outrageous as well so I’m including it as well.
2. Silent Night Deadly Night
The ULTIMATE killer Santa movie and where would Christmas be without a deranged, batshit crazy Santa? After his parents are murdered by a scalpel-wielding Santa, a young boy is sent to an orphanage. He ends up spying on two people having sex, and learns sex is a very naughty thing. A few years later, in a little, old fashioned department store, the kid is given the ultimate job: SANTA CLAUS. After seeing two people having sex in the storage room, he has flashbacks of his parents’ murder, and ends up killing them both. He then sets off on a massive killing spree. Can he be stopped? Or will Santa deliver new presents to all the little kids? This film is a hell of a lot of fun and the protests behind the film only add to the enjoyment.
1. Black Christmas (1974)
Forget about the 2006 version, THIS movie is where the terror really started. It’s time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare disappears, they contact the police, who don’t express much concern. Meanwhile Jess is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem? This film is scary as hell with some great atmosphere and excellent performances.