Santa Slay

Season's Bleedings

The 7 Scariest Holiday Horror Movies

Let visions of Freddy dance through your head with the A Nightmare on Elm Street movies throughout December on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Lionsgate

Holiday movies teach us important lessons about family and good will towards all men. But what about the truly important lessons like “Run!” or “Don’t walk slowly towards whatever that noise is!” and “No, seriously, RUN!” Horror movies have added danger to almost every holiday, and Christmas is no exception. But before you settle in for IFC’s Nightmare on Elm Street movie marathon, check out some movies that put the “ho ho no!” in horror.

7. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1985)

Silent Night
This grisly 1985 flick is the most famous Christmas-themed killer movie ever made thanks to an immense public backlash at the time of its release, which of course turned it into a cult horror favorite. Young Billy is traumatized by a criminal killer dressed as Santa Claus and, with the glorious inevitability of horror, later decides that the Killer Claus was on to a good thing and tries it out himself.

6. Silent Night (2012)


The inevitable modern reboot of Silent Night, Deadly Night dropped the deadly but added a flamethrower. And that’s a trade any horror movie fan can get behind. A homicidal Santa is taking out the naughty, but the tide turns when the hero gets their hands on something even better than a roaring log fire.

5. Santa Claws (1996)

Santa Claws

Santa Claws was filmed in 1996, and it’s surprising it really took that long for someone to make that pun. The titular killer hunts down his target’s friends and co-workers with his eponymous claws. The movie is also known as ‘Tis the Season, and the tagline insists that “His Slay Bells Are Ringing,” because you can never have too many Christmas puns.

4. Santa’s Slay (2005)

Santas Slay

Santa (played by wrestler Bill Goldberg) is revealed to be a demon from hell, defeated at curling by an angel and forced to bring presents to the pure for a thousand years. Now time has run out and the demonic Claus has a lot of evil to catch up on and proceeds to wreak havoc with his “hell-deer.” This is a movie that exists, people.

3. Sint (2010)



This dark Dutch horror comedy stars Sinterklaas as the spirit of a corrupt gang-leading bishop who was killed by fire on a full moon, and is therefore empowered by at least four different horror classics. A childhood survivor of a previous rampage, now a police officer, must protect a town from this evil spirit — even as everyone is dressed in the same disguise for the Sinterklaas celebration.

2. Christmas Evil (1980)

Christmas Evil

Christmas Evil is another cult classic, predating the more famous Silent Night, Deadly Night with an almost identical setup. A child is traumatized by seeing his mother getting racy with “Santa,” then ups the symbolism even further by cutting his own hand with glass from a shattered snow globe. Later he’s convinced himself to become the “real” Santa, sleeping in costume and spying on neighbors to judge them naughty or nice. But this Klaus delivers a hatchet instead of coal.

1. Black Christmas (1974)

The original Black Christmas is one of the original slasher horrors, with a gaggle of sorority sisters picked off by an unknown killer back before that was a horror movie cliché. The film also has one of the earliest fake-outs in the genre, with the police happily counting the case closed only for the final notes to reveal that he’s still at large — and still hunting the survivor. Director Bob Clark would go on to make A Christmas Story, a decidedly less disturbing holiday tale unless you have a lifelong fear of getting your tongue stuck to an icy pole.

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

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End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on and the IFC app.

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Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

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