The Bloody Flicks festive horror coverage continues, as we caught up with up author Joe Vallese, the author of upcoming book It Came From the Closet, offering queer reflections on horror films.
Here Joe pick his Top 5 Christmas horrors –
Black Christmas (1974) If this isn’t the tree-topper on a horror fan’s list, then it can only mean one thing: they just haven’t seen it yet. Black Christmas is simply the greatest slasher ever made. It’s funny, it’s deeply frightening, and it has the guts to put the debate over abortion right at the heart of the story in a way that somehow manages to feel subtle — even against the backdrop of a holiday centered on immaculate conception. There are few moments in horror more effective than Olivia Hussey, after being told by the police that “the calls are coming from inside the house,” screaming up an empty staircase for her (dead) friends to respond to her.
Inside(2007) Like many other films in the New French Extremity movement, Inside is nothing short of brutal. The perversion of all things Christmas is cranked up to a 12 from the moment the villainous “La Femme” breaks into the home of the recently widowed, very pregnant protagonist and tells her she intends to kill her and take her baby. Watch this one with the (Christmas) lights on.
The Brood (1978) Bleak wintry backdrop? Check. A sexless pregnancy and birth? Check. Tiny, murderous elven creatures? Check. Fabulous ’70s puffer coats and scarves? Check. Santa Claus may not factor into David Cronenberg’s absolutely wild cult classic The Brood, but it satisfies every aspect of my Christmas horror wish list and then some.
Tales from the Crypt (1972) My father was obsessed with the Tales from the Crypt comics when he was a kid and so, growing up in the 80s and 90s, I got to witness his absolute glee as the comics were reissued and then HBO premiered its series adaptation. Few episodes, however, creeped me out as much as the often-overlooked feature film’s “And All Through the House” segment, which features Joan Collins as a woman being terrorized by a homicidal maniac dressed as Santa — but can’t call the police for help because, well, she’s been naughty herself.
Scream (1996) and Scream 2 (1997) Sure, these films technically don’t have anything to do with Christmas, but since both were released right before the holiday and I was lucky enough to see each on opening night, the nostalgia runs deep. There was also something inherently comforting and Very Special Episode-esque about seeing beloved TV actresses like Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell, and Laurie Metcalf having so much fun on the big screen – and that feeling has yet to disappear for me despite two decades of rewatching.
Find out more about It Came From The Closet.