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A Christmas Horror Story

5.81 h 39 min2015X-Ray18+
Not even Santa Claus is safe from the evil that descends on Bailey Downs, a small town that is suddenly plagued with malevolent spirits, zombie elves and Krampus - the anti-Santa Claus.
Grant HarveySteven HobanBrett Sullivan
George BuzaWilliam Shatner
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Steven HobanMark Smith
AMC Plus Horror
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4.3 out of 5 stars

3387 global ratings

  1. 64% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

DameEdnaReviewed in the United States on September 23, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
I made all of my roommates watch it
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I saw this on Netflix and it was so absurd and awesome I had to buy it. If you've seen Trick 'r Treat, this is like the Christmas version of that. There are four stories that tie together in some way, sort of, and it all wraps up at the end. Also William Shatner is in it. This is (hopefully obviously) a movie with a bit of gory stuff in it, so if you aren't into that don't watch it.
36 people found this helpful
KitKatReviewed in the United States on January 22, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Christmas and Horror?
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I really liked this movie so surprising.
I watched recently and some stuff i didn't remember and other stuff was like i thought it on longer.
if memory serves it's 3 stories, but then doesn't William Shanter's part make four stories. Hmmm not sure now.
one story I don't like at all.
it's bloody, foul language, alcohol use(abuse?), of course killing and some mayhem. Oh yes lets not forget the zombie elves!! Santa's enemy Krampus is alive and well.
I am not good at reviews.
for us this is not a campy or cheapy horror movie. I like how it comes together and that it is well filmed, actors/actresses do there parts well.
I started looking for Christmas ghost stories(movies) when I rad that it used to be tradition in some parts to tell ghost stories at or before Christmas. So this is added to my Christmas movies.
3 people found this helpful
Christopher HausmannReviewed in the United States on December 22, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
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Had to have it in my collection! The main reason for the star subtraction is for Amazon not the movie!!!I just wish that Amazine would let me custom arrange my Video Library instead of only offering by date purchased or alphabetical order. I would prefer to arrange by genre, episode, number in franchise so that I could group my movies together instead of having a hodge podge to sort through!
9 people found this helpful
Christopher J. OuelletteReviewed in the United States on February 20, 2016
3.0 out of 5 stars
) The effects are not the best, but the director knows how to use them
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Two Movies, One Monster, Merry Christmas

Krampus vs A Christmas Horror Story

Krampus vs. A Christmas Horror Story
By Christopher Ouellette

I have always found it interesting when Hollywood comes out with an original idea, and then I find out that there are two films with the same idea at the same time. (Twin Films) The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Bewitched all started and ended at the same time. Antz and A Bug’s Life. Babe and Gordy. After Earth and Oblivion. And this Christmas, there are both Krampus and A Christmas Horror Story, which advertises a fight between Santa and Krampus. Both were pre-released as VOD, but only Krampus made it to theaters.

First off, they both really live up to their names. A Christmas Horror Story is just that. It’s a horror flick with blood, killing, monsters, psychos, and ghosts. Krampus is a straight monster flick. Family trapped in the house with a creature coming for them. It seemed very appropriate that Universal was the distributor.

A Christmas Horror Story is four shorts intertwined. There are teens trapped in a haunted school basement. One family accidently brings home a changeling instead of their child, while another runs from Krampus in the woods. Finally, Santa battles his own elves as a zombie virus infects them all. The stories happen in the same town and are all linked by the local DJ, played by the films ‘big get,’ William Shatner. As he simply drinks himself into an alternatingly jolly and depressing stupor, he buffers each story.


There is a very dank feel to everything. Almost grindhouse, with a weirdly obvious avoidance of nudity. (They include a sex scene and a shower scene.) The effects are not the best, but the director knows how to use them. You will jump a couple of times and say ‘eeuww.’ The Santa stuff is the most fun of the interlaced chapters, but all of them are engaging enough. The strange thing about the film is that it takes the idea that anyone can be the monster to an extreme, as well as being a weird take on repentance. Most movies that deal with monsters have some moral key that saves you. In this film, confessing your wrongs always precedes your death. The only story without a character verbalizing their missteps starts with the standard ‘teen slut’ character going home and exiting the narrative. The one who bears the brunt of the ghost is the ‘virgin good girl.’ I could tell there was craft going on, but I was always aware of what they were doing. The filmmakers were putting in scares while turning horror tropes on their ears. I was often surprised by this film, but after, I was just befuddled as to why they did what they did other than to be different. I constantly felt like the movie was trying to tell me something, but I was never sure what. By the end, even the Santa story is robbed of its fun, and the emotional moments it had, felt a bit like a cheat. It also severs the supernatural string I thought was linking the story and chalks it up to coincidence. I think that this would be an entertaining film, but its oddly agnostic nihilism left me feeling blah instead of shocked, haunted, or adrenalized.

So as we walk away from a DJ spinning old yuletide vinyl and drunkenly musing something about being nice to people over the holiday, we turn our attention next to Krampus.


Where the former develops characters by common horror tropes, Krampus introduces us to stock sitcom characters that we recognize instantly. Still they got the people who play them best on TV to recreate them here, so they are well done stock characters. As I said, this is a monster movie. The child rejects the idea of Santa Claus and gives up hope. This opens the door for Krampus, Santa’s evil counterpart, to move in.

The feel of this film is not like the live action Grinch, where Jim Carrey played the Grinch and Ron Howard played Tim Burton, but I’m sure that Krampus’s director, Michael Dougherty, has Batman Returns on his DVR. Actually, from this film I can divine that his collection includes Gremlins, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Coralline, and a couple offerings from non-Kermit Jim Henson works and Rankin and Bass. Still, it’s never parody or theft but reverent homage that brings up nostalgic feelings. This film seems to be very informed by the world of Christmas specials, starting early on with a clip from a black and white A Christmas Carol.

While the film may not need a lot of editing to put it on TV, the threats still feel very real. I would put it on the level of The Monster Squad in a lot of ways. Most of the creatures are masked, but enough of it is moved to know there is something truly horrifying underneath. This film has great pacing and the actors are all giving it their best. I won’t be raving about this but it was fun. Where the last one just told us, it’s Christmas so you might as well buck up (even though you are all possessed monsters), this has a bit more of an up note about Christmas Spirit, love, and sacrifice. It’s sort of the average of the lessons from the most popular perennial Christmas animations. (They even give an animated elf on an iPad Linus’s speech.)

— Spoiler —

As we got to the final confrontation, I started really fearing that we were getting to be ‘all a dream’ and in a way, it was. Though the feeling of a cheat quickly dissipates with the realization that the dream, in a Charles Dickens way, all happened.

In conclusion, it is just ironic that they both came out at the same time. They deliver what they promise. Christmas Horror and Christmas Monsters. Still, Krampus has a bigger budget and thus could get better effects and more seasoned seasonal actors. I also like the straight story and encouraging ending of Krampus[[ASIN:B018Y5DOEG Krampus [Blu-ray]]]
6 people found this helpful
AngReviewed in the United States on March 20, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Not typically my thing...
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To be honest, the first time I saw this offered, I wondered exactly WHAT TYPE of person watches a horror story on Christmas. It turns out that I am. 😂 😂 This movie runs a few different plot lines at once, keeping you interested, and then throws in something unexpected to boot. While it may not be the best done flick ever and hint at being reminiscing of a cult classic, this would be one of the few which is actually GOOD that bear that title. It's become a Christmas tradition for me to watch this to throw a little spice and variation into my holiday season. I've even found myself watching it once or twice just because.
MatthewReviewed in the United States on January 10, 2022
1.0 out of 5 stars
An anthology film done wrong
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This movie consists of 4 or 5 stories, depending on how you look at it. They have nothing in common besides a general "Christmas" theme.

- SPOILER ALERT - There is no Santa Clause in this movie, it's just a delusional man who's had a complete psychotic break in a mall dressed up as Santa and he's going around murdering people at the mall while dressed in a Santa outfit. The whole thing with Santa and the elves who are becoming zombies only takes up a small portion of the film and turns out to be nothing but an invention of a crazy guy's mind,. I didn't like it.
Pumpkin ManReviewed in the United States on December 10, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
Santa, Ghosts, Demons, Krampus and Zombie Elves Celebrate a Very Scary Christmas!!!
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Christmas Horror Story will definitely become a holiday cult classic sometime down the road along with Black Christmas and Silent Night Deadly Night. This is the Christmas equivalent to Trick 'r Treat. There are four different interwoven stories. This review WILL contain some spoilers! The first story is pretty weak. It's about a group of teenagers investigating the school's basement. A year prior, there were some murders. The teens get locked in and forced to deal with a ghost. The second story is a little better and creepier; a family goes into a forest to find the perfect Christmas tree. During this time, the son goes missing. He's found, but begins to act very strange. The third story is okay. A disgruntled family are forced to go visit their aunt, only to be kicked out and attacked by the Krampus. The fourth and final story is probably my favorite. Santa Claus is getting ready to go out and deliver toys to the kids, but his elves are slowly transformed into crazy zombies. It all leads up to a twist you'll never see coming and an epic battle featuring Santa vs. Krampus. If you love Christmas and horror films, you should definitely check out A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY!!!
7 people found this helpful
Wil E.Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
The movie is just fun, and more so than that
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It is very rare that I will write more than the minimum amount of words necessary to post a review on here, but this movie deserves a quick note. I always try to watch the "weird" holiday movies, and 90% of them are just what you expect. But A Christmas Horror Story truly surprised me. The movie is just fun, and more so than that, it is a fun way to escape the tedium the holidays can sometimes bring. It isn't really scary, it's quite predictable in some parts, and the pacing in some parts could be better. But, it's well put together, inventive, outrageously tacky (in a great way), and to top it off, Williams Shatner's character is the holiday narrator I want for my life.
So, gather the family (minus the little ones) and give this movie a watch this holiday season.
8 people found this helpful
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