A new twist on an old tradition – the Christmas horror movie in a compact form.
In recent years – no doubt as part of the ‘War On Christmas’ that we are told is annually taking place even though there is never any sign of it actually happening – festive horror films have become so commonplace as to be almost cliched. We’re a long way from the days when Silent Night Deadly Night was so outrageous and controversial that it found itself essentially banned in various countries – now, films about psychotic Santas, evil elves, Satanic snowmen and crazed Krampuses are ten-a-penny. There is a long tradition of Christmas horror, of course – the Ghost Stories for Christmas that themselves evolved from a tradition of telling spooky stories by firelight and the curious connection that the season has to the supernatural – nothing is quite as pleasing as curling up in the dark with a classic horror story on a winter’s night.
In truth, a lot of modern Christmas horror films quickly exhaust their welcome – once the central gimmick is revealed, they often become heavy going with sub-standard narratives, poor acting and all the faults that have long dogged the lower end of the genre, and there is a cynical lack of sincerity and a smug knowingness in many of the films that makes them a lot less fun than they like to think they are. For that reason, the festive horror short is more welcome, getting all that Christmas terror over and done with in just a few minutes. Short films are, of course, a mixed bag in themselves, ranging from the magnificent to the amateurish and clumsy – when a four-minute film manages to feel over-long, it’s quite something. But all of the eight films featured below – which you can watch in the space of an hour – have something going for them. From the serious and creepy to the absurd and cheesy, they are ideal alternative viewing to the endless collection of Christmas romances that clog up the TV schedules.
All Through The House
Milk & Cookies
A Christmas Horror Story
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