Earlier this month here on iHorror, we took a look at my eight favorite holiday horror films, all of which I try and make it a point to watch each and every year. The truth is, try as I may, I just never seem to have the time to get around to watching all of them. Christmas is one of the busiest and most stressful times of the year, and it’s oftentimes hard to find the time to just sit down on the couch and wind down – and by the time you do, you’re too worn out to commit to a 90 minute movie, am I right?
But have no fear. For I have a backup plan.
If you’re feeling short on the holiday horror spirit and you’ve found yourself too busy to watch all the movies you planned on watching this month, then I’ve got just the thing for you. Below you’ll find six Christmas-themed short films, all of which bring blood and guts to the holiday season and, best of all, don’t require much of a commitment. Clocking in at just a few minutes each, these shorts are guaranteed to re-fill your tank with holiday spirit, of this we feel comfortable promising you.
So dig in below, and stop being such a goddamn Scrooge!
A CHRISTMAS TREAT – TIM SULLIVAN
Decades before becoming a household name amongst horror fans, thanks to films like 2001 Maniacs and Driftwood, a 21-year-old Tim Sullivan made his directorial debut with this short film, in 1985. In it, a young boy named Jason breaks one of the cardinal rules of Christmas, finding out the hard way why you must never try and sneak a peek at Santa Claus. The short nabbed Sullivan a Fangoria Short Film Search Award.
THE WINTER STALKER – STEPHEN REEDY
As magical and joyful as Santa Claus is, you must admit that there’s something a little bit unsettling about him and his whole process. Between watching us as we sleep and breaking into our homes late at night, you kinda can’t help but be a little creeped out by the jolly fat man. Ultimately though, despite how creepy his methods may seem, ole Kringle means well, and it’s that difference between a child’s perception and an adult’s perception of him that’s wonderfully explored in this short, produced by artist Alex Pardee.
TREEVENGE – JASON EISENER
Canadian filmmaker Jason Eisener is another guy who debuted on the horror scene with a Christmas-themed short film, instantly scooping up a fan-base in 2008 with Treevenge. At 16 minutes in length, this one’s quite a bit longer than the other shorts on the list, but it’s well worth the time and is quite frankly my personal favorite of the bunch. The tale of Christmas trees exacting revenge on us humans, who have been cruelly cutting them down and decorating them all these years, Treevenge put Eisener on my radar in a big way, and he’s since continued to impress with films like Hobo With a Shotgun and segments in ABCs of Death and V/H/S 2.
TWAS THE NIGHT OF THE TREE BEAST – TIM RUTHERFORD & CODY KENNEDY
Speaking of Canada, and killer Christmas trees, the guys that run Edmonton’s Lobby Video Store put together this short film last year, which stars owner Kevin Martin and store clerk Josh Lenner. The Lobby specializes in horror films and is absolutely loaded with cool merchandise and memorabilia, as you’ll soon see. Twas the Night of the Tree Beast was filmed inside of the store, and it’s a gory little short that ponders the true meaning of Christmas. A clever narration seals the deal on this one being an annual must-watch!
MY NAME IS KRIS KRINGLE – DREW DAYWALT
Nobody does short horror films better than Drew Daywalt, who has unloaded oodles of abbreviated terrors on the internet over the years. During the 2010 holiday season, this one debuted exclusively on Fangoria, and it stars Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3‘s Leatherface, R.A. Mihailoff, as a killer claiming to be Santa Claus. But is he really Kris Kringle, or just a psycho in a Santa suit? You’ll have to watch this brilliant and terrifying short to find out!
M IS FOR MERRY CHRISTMAS – DANIEL PIZA RUIZ
From mid-August through the end of October, a competition was held to find the 26th director for ABCs of Death 2, applicants tasked with making short films centered around the letter M. Three entries ended up being submitted with the title M is for Merry Christmas, and it’s this one from Mexican filmmaker Daniel Piza Ruiz that’s my personal favorite. Whether it’s a pair of socks or a toy we didn’t want, I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced disappointment on Christmas morning. Fed up with the disappointment year after year, the young boy in this one decides to take his frustrations out on the man responsible. By the time he’s done, Christmas just might be cancelled… FOREVER!
Can you think of any other Christmas-themed short horror flicks that you enjoy watching around this time of the year? Comment below and let us know about ’em!