We caught up with the prolific composer to find out his Top 5 Christmas horrors –
The X Files – How the Ghosts Stole Christmas – I’m going to cheat here and try something potentially unexpected. While it’s not a horror movie, it’s still something I make sure to watch every year. That would be Season 6 Episode 6 of The X-Files entitled How the Ghosts Stole Christmas. The episode goes back to the classic “Monster of the week” format from the early seasons, taking a brief break from the drama in that season. Scully and Mulder investigate a house that’s rumoured to be haunted by an elderly old couple that fulfilled a suicide pact many years earlier. While investigating the humongous old house, the old spectral couple decides to turn Scully and Mulder against each other for nothing more than their own entertainment, and it all plays out in such a fun way. Despite all of the mayhem, the ending is really cute and full of the warm and fuzzies. It’s a perfect blend of a classic ghost story and genuine Christmas spirit. Plus, Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin are so enjoyable to watch.
Silent Night Deadly Night 1 & 2 – I can’t separate them. The first one is a classic, and shares a pretty damning view of catholicism and religion, which I like. Plus, Perry Botkin’s score is so good! And obviously, the second movie is about 50% a recap of the first movie, but I can’t talk about this franchise without mentioning Eric Freeman in SNDN 2. The guy gave 100% in that performance, and the world is a better place because of it. From what I understand, he has a pretty great sense of humor about it now, which makes me love the performance even more.
Christmas Evil – Honestly, this movie does NOT get enough love, and I don’t understand how it’s flown under the radar for so long. As far as “killer santa” movies go, it doesn’t get much better than this. It’s a fascinating character study masterfully portrayed by Brandon Maggart, and I can’t help but compare his mental unraveling to that of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. You really empathize with and root for the guy. It’s just so good. The film also features a very young Jeffrey DeMunn (whom I love) sporting a Ted Bundy look. #F*ckMossGarcia.
Krampus – Much like every other horror lover, I am a HUGE fan of Michael Dougherty’s work. Not only did he make the Halloween season more special with Trick R’ Treat, but he went on to spoil us with Krampus. I remember the first time I saw this film, and I thought to myself that it had no business being as good as it was. Out of all of the films here, this is the one I tend to rewatch the most, and it’s the most fun to show people who haven’t seen it before. I’m fairly certain it had the largest budget of any Christmas horror movie, so it has no excuse to be anything other than amazing, which it most certainly is. The ensemble cast is amazing, balancing the perfect comedic talents of Toni Collette, Adam Scott, David Koechner, and the late Conchata Ferrel. The design of Krampus is perfect, and as far as I’m concerned, it is the definitive look of the character. And Doug Pipes score is simply amazing as per usual.
Black Christmas – This one is probably obvious, and I’m guessing it will likely be everyone’s #1 pick. It’s not Christmas until I watch the original Black Christmas. What else can be said about it? It’s easily one of the most influential horror flicks of all time. The similarities are undeniable when looking at When a Stranger Calls and Halloween, yet Black Christmas is relatively unknown in comparison. It’s pretty progressive too, regarding women’s reproductive rights.
Billy’s phone calls are genuinely terrifying too. On the flip side of the unshakable creep factor of Billy, the film has such fun characters and a great atmosphere, which keeps me coming back. I don’t know how to explain it, but despite all of the murder, it seems like a fun world to live in. Plus, any movie where John Saxon plays a police officer is a hit with me. That being said, I do think Mrs Mack is the unsung hero of this movie, and no one can change my mind.
Look out for future projects from Alexander, So Vam and Time’s Up in 2022.