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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4. Harry in Christmas Evil

When young Harry witnesses Santa Claus groping his mother, it leaves him scarred for life. He doesn’t know that the lecherous Santa is actually his father, of course, but what he saw psychologically damaged him.

As an adult, Harry works at the Jolly Dreams toy factory by day; by night, he dresses in a Santa suit, collects holiday decorations, and creepily spies on the neighborhood children to see who is naughty and who is nice. He’s a man dancing on the edge of sanity.

He steps off that ledge after agreeing to work a shift for a co-worker who gives him a sad story about needing to spend time with his family, then finding out the man lied and went out drinking with his pals instead. Harry’s mental state spirals, he cancels Thanksgiving dinner with his brother, and becomes angry when his employer announces that toys will be donated to a local children’s hospital, but only if the Jolly Dreams employees increase production and donate their own money to the cause.

Believing now that he is truly Santa Claus, Harry goes on a murderous rampage in a van painted to look like Santa’s sleigh, while also stealing toys from the factory to give to the children. What makes Christmas Evil so compelling is that you really feel for Harry, even when he is hacking people to death, or stabbing them in the eye. Truthfully, he doesn’t kill anyone who doesn’t richly deserve it.

Christmas Evil can be see on Vudu, and on Shudder as part of its Unhappy Holidays collection.