People prefer to ignore the seedy underbelly of Christmas, but to be honest, the holiday is inherently creepy. Think about it: a fat, old guy breaks into your house and leaves you presents that he mysteriously knows you want. We bring trees inside of our houses and decorate them with glass balls. And it's perfectly okay to show up at your neighbor's house unannounced and sing at them. While these traditions are meant to be festive, they'd be considered disturbing at any other time of the year. Some filmmakers have embraced the weirdness. Here are our five creepiest Christmas movies.
The heart of Chinatown may not be the best place to find presents for your kids, but it's a great spot to discover a cute, fuzzy creature that can turn into a scale-y monster and easily reproduce?Gremlins
tells the story of Billy Peltzer who gets more than a dog for Christmas and ends up with -- like all great '80s movies -- a giant mess on his hands. It is a good film for parents to teach their kids to follow the rules, which can be applied to children or gremlins. Remember no bright lights, don't get wet, and never eat after midnight.4. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Do I even have to explain this one?Edward Scissorhands
is framed by an elderly Winona Ryder, who tells her kids the joyous holiday tale of a boy with scissors for hands. And no, he's not the villain of the story; he's the hero. It doesn't help that Johnny Depp's usually beautiful face is pale and scarred, with a constant expression of discomfort. But then Tim Burton squeezes Depp into a skin-tight leather jumpsuit. Some call it a heart-warming holiday movie, because nothing screams Christmas more than leather and scissors.
Keep reading for three more creepy Christmas movies.3. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
This Finnish Christmas movie attempts to tell the "real" story of Santa Claus. Near a reindeer farm, a group of scientists are excavating a burial mound, where they discover the occupant isn't dead. It's actually Santa Claus! That sounds like it would be a good thing, but this Santa is not so jolly. In a set of twists and turns and some dead reindeer, they find out this Santa is more about punishment than presents.2. Silent Night (2012)
You better watch out. Santa Claus is coming to town. InSilent Night
a murderous maniac is terrorizing a small town on Christmas Eve in a mission to punish all the naughty. Wearing an insanely eerie Santa mask, the killer takes your beloved childhood icon and makes you want to block up your chimney and swear off of Christmas forever. It's unsettling to see Father Christmas with a flame thrower, but what's even scarier is the film is loosely based on the horrific Los Angeles Covina Massacre in 2008.1. Elf (2003)
Known as a family friendly Christmas Jaunt,Elf
is actually super creepy. It starts with Santa practically kidnapping a baby (Shouldn't he put the human baby back where he found it?). Then later, Zooey Deschanel falls for the crazy man-child in the elf costume. Listen, he might be cute around the holidays, but "treating every day like it's Christmas" is going to get really old by April. Sure it's got some laughs, but Will Ferrell in tights? That's enough to creep anyone out.
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Follow Amanda Moutinho on Twitter at @amandamoutinho.