Horror films spread holiday fear

Featured Image: Reviewer Sydnee Washington gave “Thanksgiving” 3.5 out of 5 stars. Sasha Saxon|Marlin Chronicle

The holidays, a time of joy, cheer and…fear? Holiday themed horror movies look to turn the happy holidays into a nightmarish tale. 

The most recent edition of this twisted horror sub-genre is the movie “Thanksgiving,” which was released on Nov. 17. The film begins with a seemingly normal Thanksgiving Day, following two different Thanksgiving dinners where friends and families come together and enjoy each other’s company. It quickly takes a dark turn when town members rush to get in line for the supermarket’s Black Friday sale. The crowd ultimately gets out of control and storms the supermarket, breaking the barriers and smashing through the locked glass sliding doors. The incident results in the death of four people, and becomes the motive of a demented serial killer to take revenge against those responsible for the deaths. 

“Thanksgiving” is an average slasher film with violence, gore, mystery and suspense. It received decent reviews with a 7/10 rating from IMDb and an 83% rating from Rotten Tomatoes. 

“I thought the movie was insane,” junior Eythan Moreira said. “It was outlandish but also very intense for a film of that caliber.” He noted that the movie was “cheesy” but fun.

“The drama and acting are over the top, making for an intense and silly film. I give this movie a solid 8/10,” Moreira said.

The oxymoronic holiday horror genre has the unique ability to spoil holiday cheer and create holiday fear. Eli Roth, the director of “Thanksgiving,” talked with the entertainment website Polygon about his love for horror films as a child and how he dreaded the horror film dry season between Halloween and the new year. 

“I wanted to fill the November void. There was a desert with no horror films. I wanted to fill it with a Thanksgiving slasher film,” Roth said.

First-year Mikayla Bryant disagreed. She said that filmmakers should leave the holiday season to cheerful movies.

“Horror movies should not be tied with holidays because it’s too scary. Christmas should not be scary,” Bryant said. 

On the contrary, senior Emma Lankford shared her support for holiday horror. 

“I think that having scary Christmas movies allows people to have fun with it, and it’s a great way to expand upon traditional holiday values,” Lankford said. 

First-year Madison Mellon reflected on the role of holiday horror.

“I think they can be a good form of entertainment if it is something people enjoy,” Mellon said. “I understand why some people think it can be inappropriate, but that’s how it is with many horror movies. For example, I thought ‘Krampus’ was a great movie and it gave some light onto the Central European folk tale it was based off of.”

Nevertheless, for students who are overwhelmed and need a break from the excessive jolliness of the holiday spirit, there are plenty of well-rated holiday horror movies to cater to your spooky needs. Rotten Tomatoes lists the top five horror holiday movies as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (95%), “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” (89%), “Better Watch Out” (89%), “Gremlins” (86%) and “Anna and the Apocalypse” (77%).


By Sydnee Washington