Christmas is supposed to be a happy, festive time of year as you gather with loved ones, open presents and sip eggnog. Which is why when, say, terrorists, vicious outlaws, or evil gremlins crash your party, it's one heck of a buzz kill.

You're invited to relive some of cinema's most nightmarish Christmas scenes -- and we're not talking about the ones where you run out of Scotch tape or punch. We're talking severed heads, your house being blown to smithereens, and other not-so-jolly holiday happenings. Cheers!

7. Assassins try to kill Bruce Willis in his suburban, just-decorated home in 'Red' (2010)
Retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) decides to get with the swing of living in the quiet suburbs by putting up some holiday decorations to match his festive neighbors. Those twinkly lights and plastic snowman get blown up that night in a hail of machine-gun fire (at minute 1:04 in the trailer) as he's been slated for termination. So much for retirement! Frank happily contributes to the destruction of his own house, relieved to be back in action once again.



6. Child receiving a severed head in 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' (1993)
When Jack Skellington decides to hijack Christmas from Santa Clau, he means well but the residents of Halloween Town aren't exactly experts at cranking out holiday toys. So the children of the world awake to some fairly gruesome presents, like a snake that devours the Christmas tree, a wreath that tries to strangle its recipient and, our favorite, a shrunken head in a box, which a horrified child wordlessly holds up to answer the question "What did Santa bring you, honey?"

5. Terrorists crashing the Christmas party in Nakatomi Plaza in 'Die Hard' (1988)
Sure, John McClane has a lousy Christmas chasing down terrorists who are holding his wife hostage but what about everyone else who works for the Nakatomi corporation? They're in the midst of an awesome '80s-style holiday party, complete with blow and meeting room hook-ups, when a bunch of armed men burst in and ruin all the fun. Next thing they know, their boss is dead and they're being escorted to the bathroom in groups. Worst office party ever!

4. Rachel Nichols having a creepy Christmas dinner with crazed captor Wes Bentley in 'P2' (2007)
An office building is no place to be on Christmas Eve, especially when you're the only one working late and the security guard has a thing for you. How much of a thing does Thomas have for Angela? First, he tazes her, then she comes to at a dinner table set for two: He's in a Santa suit and she's in a slinky little dress with a chain around her ankle. Nichols spends the rest of the movie trying to escape from him and the scary depths of the parking garage. She finally wishes him "Merry Christmas" as only a horror movie heroine can.





3. Gremlins attack via Christmas tree in 'Gremlins' (1984)
The tree is all decked out with tinsel and lights and hey... what are those furry things in the branches? Our hero's mother, Mrs. Peltzer, hears a suspicious noise, so she heads for the gently swaying Christmas stocking on the mantel, knife in hand. Behind you, Mom! It's the tree, it's alive with Gremlins.... augh!! Good thing those critters underestimate this suburban mom and her handy kitchen appliances!

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2. Outlaw brothers interrupting Christmas dinner in 'The Proposition' (2005)
Police captain Ray Winstone just wants to make a nice, civilized home for himself and his wife (Emily Watson) in the rugged Australian outback of the 1880s, but he has his hands full trying to round up a bloodthirsty set of brothers. All seems safe, but then the villains decide to interrupt his formal Christmas dinner and make unwelcome use of the carving fork. It's not the bloodiest scene in this brutal western (penned and scored by goth rocker Nick Cave), but it is a very disturbing one.




1. S.W.A.T. team arrests a man on Christmas Eve in 'Brazil' (1985)
A little British girl is just lamenting that Father Christmas can't get in to deliver presents because they don't have a chimney -- when a hole appears in the ceiling. It's not Santa, but a gang of scary, masked soldiers who bust down the door to arrest the father for unnamed crimes. The husband is bundled off in a hooded straitjacket, very certainly never to be seen again. The sheer terror of the moment is only made worse by the bureacratic aspect of it all; at the end, the terrified wife is handed a receipt for her husband!

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CATEGORIES Cinematical, Features