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10 Anti-Christmas Movies for Those Who Hate the Holidays

Films for those who feel like a Grinch around the Christmas season.

Credit: Chris Brignell (left), Goroden Goff (right)/Shutterstock

The festive season can bring about a number of stressors. Social commitments, chaotic holiday shopping, and the associated costs. 56% of Gen Z consider the holidays to be one of the most stressful times of the year, according to a study conducted by Extra Gum.

So why not reject all the societal pressures of the holidays? 

If you’re over the usual films full of holiday spirit, here are 10 anti-Christmas movies to make it through the season.

1. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

movie still from Silent Night, Deadly Night
Robert Brian Wilson in Silent Night, Deadly Night. Credit: TriStar Pictures

This is the quintessential killer Santa flick. Traumatized after a horrific Christmas-related incident, Billy grows up to be a strapping young man. But when Christmas rolls around, he snaps and goes on a murderous spree dressed as Santa. The film garnered controversy upon its release, as many were upset over the depiction of Saint Nick being a killer. The controversy boosted ticket sales, however, ultimately leading to four sequels.

2. Christmas Evil (1980)

Brandon Maggart in Christmas Evil. Credit: Pan American Pictures

Another killer Santa movie, although very different from Silent Night, is Christmas Evil. The similarities end with traumatic Christmas-related events experienced as a kid. The film follows Harry and the gradual breakdown of his mental state that climaxes in a murder spree. While this is usually referred to as a slasher, it is more of a character study of a man losing his grip on reality. While there is a sense of dread throughout the film, it is juxtaposed with sprinkles of humor.

3. Game Over (1989)

Patrick Floersheim in Game Over. Credit: UGC

Also referred to as Deadly Games and 36.15 code Père Noël, this French-language horror movie follows a young boy stuck at home with his grandfather on Christmas Eve. The night seems quiet until a mad Santa crashes down the chimney. The boy sets multiple traps for the intruder, determined to protect himself and his grandfather. The film is noted for its similarities to the holiday classic Home Alone, but the main difference here is that this plays out way more violently. 

4. Santa Slay (2005)

Bill Goldberg in Santa Slay. Credit: Media 8 Entertainment

Santa Slay features another less-than-jolly Santa Claus who is actually a demon. In the film, we discover that the gift-giving Santa everyone knows and loves was actually the result of a lost bet between him and an angel. He was forced to give toys and spread happiness for 1000 years. But once his sentence is over, he’s back to his bloodthirsty ways. This over-the-top horror comedy uses holiday-themed kills to keep the laughs coming.

5. Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)

Pat Astley in Don’t Open Till Christmas. Credit: 21st Century Film Corporation

If killer Kris Kringles isn’t your thing, then this UK flick from the golden age of slashers may be up your alley. A killer is targeting people dressed up as Santa Claus in London. The film is filled with extreme violence and a genuine sense of grime with the locations of each murder, perfect for anyone tired of the cheer the holidays usually bring. 

6. Black Christmas (1974)

Olivia Hussey in Black Christmas. Credit: Ambassador Films

One of the slasher genre’s pioneering films, this Canadian flick follows a group of sorority sisters entering their winter break. The girls begin to receive obscene phone calls and soon after start disappearing one by one. A slow burn with a great finale, this is widely regarded as one of the first slasher films. It features a prominent cast of Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Keir Dullea, and Andrea Martin. Two remakes followed in 2006 and 2019

7. The Day of the Beast (1995)

(From left to right) Santiago Segura, Armando De Razza, and Álex Angulo in The Day of the Beast. Credit: Iberoamericana Films

This 90’s Spanish-language horror-comedy follows a priest, a metalhead, and a psychic attempting to prevent the birth of the Antichrist. It takes place on Christmas Eve and is full of wild visuals and gore. Contrasting this is many moments of hilarity that will get you laughing. 

8. Go (1999)

Go movie poster featuring (from left to right) William Fichtner, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr, Sarah Polley, and Scott Wolf. Credit: Columbia Pictures

Grocery store clerk Ronna is covering a shift for Simon, someone who occasionally deals drugs from his register at work. When two soap opera actors come looking for Ecstasy on Christmas Eve, Ronna, in need of money, decides to become a spontaneous drug dealer. What she doesn’t know is that the actors are secretly working for a narcotics officer.

Go is full of familiar faces such as Sarah Polley, Katie Holmes, Taye Diggs, Timothy Olyphant, and a young Melissa McCarthy. This fast-paced film is complemented by its soundtrack, consisting of many 90’s hit-makers including No Doubt, Natalie Imbruglia, and Fatboy Slim. 

9. The Silent Partner (1978)

Christopher Plummer in The Silent Partner. Credit: Pan-Canadian Film Distributors

Revisiting the Great White North, this 70’s thriller starring Elliot Gould and Christopher Plummer follows a bank teller named Miles who accidentally learns that his branch is about to be robbed. The film was shot entirely on location in Toronto and featured the city’s then recently-opened Eaton Centre mall, a central location in the film. 

10. Hardware (1990)

Promotional still from Hardware. Credit: Miramax

While no snow or holiday lights appear on screen, Hardware is technically still a Christmas film. An ex-soldier gifts a disembodied android head to his girlfriend for Christmas. What they are unaware of is that the head comes from an android programmed to kill and able to reassemble itself. The film takes place in a future where America has been ravaged by atomic warfare. Fans of cyberpunk will get a kick out of this.

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Written By

My name is Brandon Budhram and I am currently studying journalism at Seneca Polytechnic. I have loved writing ever since middle school and am now pursuing my passion.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Anne perry

    January 3, 2024 at 7:12 pm

    So cool I didnt know about these flicks

    Great alternative to those hallmark movies

  2. Tharsha

    January 3, 2024 at 8:44 pm

    I can’t wait to check out these movies!

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