Sure, Christmas is a time of joy for children of all ages, but that doesn't mean that grown-ups can't have the cinematic equivalent of a spiked egg nog. After you've packed the little ones off to bed, enjoy these movies, from the hilarious to the horrifying, that are aimed at adult audiences.
"Black Christmas" (1974)
A decade before making the classic "A Christmas Story," director Bob Clark invented the holiday slasher with this still-chilling cult fave about sorority sisters fending off an obscene phone caller. (A new remake slays in theaters in December 2019.)
"The Silent Partner" (1978)
Bank teller Elliott Gould
and robber Christopher Plummer
play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse; this twisty thriller was an early success for the late Curtis Hanson, who scripted.
"Christmas Evil" (1980)
John Waters' favorite Christmas movie involves a man obsessed with Santa (Brandon Maggart) who takes his naughty list to homicidal extremes.
"Some Girls" (1988)
Long before he was McDreamy, Patrick Dempsey played a horny college student bewitched by three sisters (played by Jennifer Connelly, Sheila Kelley and Ashley Greenfield) in an early Sundance hit that's still underappreciated (and still sexy).
Writer-director Whit Stillman
scored a dynamite debut -- and made a low-budget indie look great by shooting in holiday-decorated Manhattan -- with this smart and sprightly tale of young debutantes in love.
Writer John August
and director Doug Liman
keep the twists and the wisecracks coming in this ensemble piece about young L.A. types chasing down ecstasy. The cast is full of before-they-were-famous folks.
"Eyes Wide Shut" (1999)
If you don't think of this as a Christmas movie, you haven't seen it lately; director Stanley Kubrick
inserts twinkle lights and trees all over his sexual thriller starring Tom Cruise
and Nicole Kidman.
"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" (2005)
One of Robert Downey's best pre-Marvel roles was as a struggling actor caught up in a Christmastime conspiracy, trading quips with scene-stealers Val Kilmer
and Michelle Monaghan.
"A Christmas Tale" (2008)
isn't the usual mom-with-cancer; this matriarch demands her kids give her a bone marrow transplant in this biting, brilliant family story.
"Better Watch Out" (2017)
This clever holiday horror-comedy takes the youthful sadism of "Home Alone" and ratchets it up a few notches, with teenage Luke (Levi Miller, "Pan") hiding some real darkness behind that sweet face.
"A Bad Moms Christmas" (2017)
The bad moms just want to have fun, even when their own bad moms come rolling into town to celebrate the season. Santas will strip, and the egg nog will be spiked.
"Anna and the Apocalypse" (2018)
It's Christmastime! But thanks to a zombie outbreak, it's also the end times, and our high school heroes dispatch the undead with bloody fervor. And did we mention this is also a musical?