'Twas the week before Christmas and across all our screens, came a selection of horror films to make us all scream.
No Hallmark rom-coms here — just Santa and his sleigh. But in these movies it’s spelled a slightly different way.
Holiday horror may not be something all want to see, but those that do have plenty under the tree.
"The Mean One," a parody of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," has an evil-green-killer on the loose. But the movie avoids saying his name, so as not to legally anger Doctor Seuss.
In "Violent Night" Old Saint Nick rescues a family held hostage from bad guys bringing the mood down.
Then there’s "Christmas Bloody Christmas" putting a slasher-spin on holiday movies. This murderous Santa is played by Abraham Benrubi.
"It’s great fun to put on the Santa Claus suit and wield the fire ax and chop up actors. This is a completely imaginary world. That takes the pressure off, right?" Benrubi said.
So why do we love these holiday-horror offerings? Pop culture commentator Richard Newby says they go together like candy canes and stockings.
"That used to be the big thing on Christmas Eve. People would come together and tell ghost stories," Newby said.
He says going back to the days of Ebineezer Scrooge and ghost stories at Christmas have always been huge.
"Which is kind of this odd thing because we’re talking about the birth of Christ, but then we’re also compacting it with this idea of death, and our own mortality, and morality as well," Newby said.
And this holiday season it’s not just scary movies we’re seeing. In a Denver haunted house lots of creatures are stirring. The krampus-themed haunt runs by the thirteenth floor — it proves Halloween isn’t just for October anymore.
"So just that twist of maybe seeing a gingerbread man run past with a scary face, or krampus coming to get you ‘cuz you were naughty this year. It’s so fun and playful. It’s just taking that tradition and turning it on its head," said Amy Hollaman, the regional manager at Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group.
So after hanging those stockings by the chimney with care — this year enjoy a good scare.
"You don’t normally get shocked and scared every single day. So I think the adrenaline, the chemicals, the electricity that it causes in a human being is why people are attracted to horror," said Benrubi.
You may just want to leave on the light. Happy holidays to all and to all a good fright.
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