Streaming: Santa Claus gets sinister in 5 horror films for the holidays

Photo: Deadly Games.. Image Courtesy Shudder
Photo: Deadly Games.. Image Courtesy Shudder /
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Sinister Santa
Photo: Christmas Evil.. Image Courtesy Shudder /

Santa Claus is synonymous with Christmas joy, festive lights and time spent with your beloved family. As such, most holiday movies are light-hearted romantic comedies or warm, touching family dramas but there is a flip side to all of this merry-making.

Second only to Halloween in the holiday horror movie category is Christmas. Let’s face it, 1974’s Black Christmas is pretty much universally accepted to be the first true slasher flick, right down to the final girl trope.

John Carpenter has even admitted that it inspired him to produce Halloween, as he was taken with the idea of a horror film tied in with a holiday. You won’t find Black Christmas on this list though, because Santa is nowhere to be found onscreen.

Everyone’s favorite yuletide character is, without a doubt, Santa Claus himself. But, sometimes that jolly ‘ol rotund fellow is more scary than he is merry! Sinister Santa characters are usually serial killers or just mentally unbalanced men who suddenly tip into psycho-mode.

There are even a handful of demon-inspired Santa characters, and we have included two on our list. But whether you prefer your scary Santa to sport horns or a beard, we should have you covered here.

Because it’s been done to death, let’s leave Silent Night, Deadly Night out of the equation, and sum up the remaining top 5 sinister Santas / Santa-like characters. Food for thought before we start our count down: If you rearrange the letters in SANTA, it spells SATAN (insert evil laugh here).