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Ranking every new Lifetime Christmas movie by its obvious horror movie set up

A man and woman look into each other's eyes lovingly in front of an overdecorated Christmas tree
(Image credit: Lifetime)

Ah Christmas, a wonderful time full of magic, joy, and made-for-tv movies. But if you've ever actually watched the latter then you'll know that they can be pretty creepy. From their often homogenous casting to their cut and paste plots to their towns entirely obsessed with Christmas, there's plenty to plunder for those of us with dark and twisted genre-focused minds. This year Lifetime has done a pretty great job at making their lineup more inclusive but that doesn't mean that the setups sound any less like horror movies. So settle in, pop some corn, and get ready to learn about the entire Lifetime 2020 Christmas movie lineup via the magic of horror movies. 

30. Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding

The original movie had a stone cold horror setup - a woman who lives in a high tech smart house invites her family over for Christmas - but this one is a little more broad. Kelly Rowland's tech entrepreneur is getting married and has taken her whole family to a fancy hotel for the occasion. It's rural and has ski-lifts which could lead to some Frozen (2010) style horror. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

29. Feliz NaviDAD

Mario Lopez face looms ominously over us

(Image credit: Lifetime)

Sure, Mario Lopez looks charming, but he's a lonely widower who takes on a delivery job each year so he doesn't have to spend Christmas with his family. Sounds suspicious to us. When he meets a new customer on his route, sparks fly... but are they reciprocated? Or could the lovely lady in the big house have a dark secret of her own?

Horror movie rating: 🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

28. Christmas on Ice

In Lifetime's first festive offering of the year a former figure skater teams up with an ex-hockey player in order to stop the mayor from closing the local skating rink. It doesn't sound too scary but the specter of an injured athlete returning home to the town that she once left does have some peak slasher movie vibes. What if she once wronged that hockey player? It might sound harmless, but honestly there's still a lot of potential for horrible things to happen here.

Horror movie rating: 🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

27. The Christmas Setup

Lifetime's first ever gay holiday movie sounds like it could be the new A24 horror hit. Heading home for Christmas, a young man is forced to reconnect with an old friend, leading to unexpected circumstances. His mom is played by Fran Drescher and she does the setting up so it can't be too scary, but there's still some big Spiral vibes at play here. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪

Airs on Saturday, December 12 at 8/7c

26. Christmas on the Vine

Going to a winery for Christmas might sound dreamy but not if you've seen The Vineyard which is about evil zombie wine and the nefarious man who creates it. Even if our lovely lead doesn't end up stomping on the vines of the dead, there's plenty of things to be scared of here including an evil corporation that will stop at nothing to crush the competition. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

25. A Christmas Break

This one might be a bit too close for comfort in 2020. A teacher is trying to make Christmas special for her class as their school is being closed down. Hope appears in the guise of a Hollywood actor home for the holidays. Now this is where a horror movie would begin to make us think... is he too good to be true? What are his intentions? And are those children safe?

Horror movie rating: 🔪

Airs on Sunday, December 20 at 8/7c

24. Homemade Christmas

This one is legitimately scary. An eager young woman spends each Christmas season turning herself into "the ultimate holiday freelancer." As a professional freelancer myself this might be the scariest of the lot. But as for classic horror tropes it's relatively light, though our lead does get a job "fixing an xmas party" for her crush... so maybe she's got some bunny boiler vibes?

Horror movie rating: 🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

23. Candy Cane Christmas

A small town woman's life is turned upside down when her neighbors decide not to do their annual house decorating competition. Surely to be so affected by such a minor thing she must be a woman on the edge? Sounds like your quintessential revenge thriller where the scorned decorator takes revenge on her one-time friends for destroying her Christmas. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

22. A Welcome Home Christmas

A charity worker who supports local veterans falls in love with a returning veteran. Sounds sweet but the pair are working on a toy drive that ends with something truly terrifying... a presentation from Santa Claus. As this is a Christmas movie he's almost certainly the real Santa which means Krampus can't be too far behind. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

21. Lonestar Christmas

A single mom heads home to her father's ranch in order to spend the holidays but allows a strange new man into her life. We're not saying her kids are headed into The Stepfather territory but we're also not not saying that either. Looks like everyone should be on their best behavior when the new man's around. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Airs on Monday, December 14 2019 at 8/7c

20. Christmas on Wheels

When a woman discovers her red vintage family car was sold she decides to get it back. There are two very clear options for what could happen here: the car was sold because it's an evil murder car that likes to kill its inhabitants, or she's about to completely and utterly destroy the lives of people who took her family heirloom. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

19. A Sugar & Spice Holiday

When a woman returns home for the holidays she becomes embroiled in the local gingerbread baking contest. And you know who loves gingerbread?? Witches!! Yep, there's no question this must be about a coven of super cool witches who wield their power through baking. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Airs on Sunday, December 13 at 8/7c

18. People Presents: Once Upon a Main Street 

Imagine trying to start your own business. You save up. You purchase a storefront. You're about to move in when you discover the evil owner has actually allowed two people to buy it in order to make them fight it out in a Christmas battle royale. Dark thriller vibes abound with this one. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

17. A Taste of Christmas

Come on! This one obviously sounds like it's about cannibals. A woman tries to save Christmas when her sister's restaurant shuts down by teaming up with a mysterious and cranky chef to prepare dinner for their small town... but who knows what might be on the menu?? Mwahahaha. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

16. Christmas on the Menu

Another food themed setup but this has more of a revenge flavored twist. A chef heads to her mother's resort for the festive season only to find a special gift: the critic who's been giving her terrible reviews. Sounds like Theater of Blood to us. Surely our chef is going to crucify the critic and torture him mercilessly at the rural retreat? 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Airs on Friday, December 18 at 8/7c

15. Dear Christmas

Jason Priestly and Melissa Joan Hart stand in front of a Christmassy door and exchange gifts

(Image credit: Lifetime)

Melissa Joan Hart stars as a podcast host who tells stories of Christmas romance but has never been in love. Being a hypocrite is a good way to get on the horror movie naughty list and when she finds love with a new man in her life it seems too good to be true... so maybe it is??? 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

14. Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve

A couple stand in front of a glittery Christmas background

(Image credit: Lifetime)

Everyone had that one childhood love, right? So how would you feel if you agreed to meet them after leaving college and they never showed? Devastating. That's exactly what happens here, so when the pair reunite years later it's obvious that people will start dying and it will be revealed that the shunned lover finally got their revenge as a masked slasher. Duh. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Airs on Saturday, December 5 at 8/7c

13. The Christmas Edition

An up and coming journalist gets the chance of a lifetime to run a small town newspaper in Alaska. That seems slightly suspicious, no? Who's still running a local print newspaper in 2020? And why would they hire an out of towner? Sounds like someone wants to get our hero alone.

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

12. Spotlight on Christmas

In order to escape a terrible breakup and the ever growing attention of the press, an actress returns to her small town home to hide. But the family she left behind is less than happy and that's before she discovers a man with an intense interest in the town's new arrival. Who will get her first? The disgruntled family or the new lover? Only time will tell.

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪

Airs on Friday, December 4 at 8/7c

11. The Christmas Listing

Warring real estate agents come up against each other in this tale of Christmas woe. Both want to list the local inn but instead get snowed in. So now the question really is... who will survive? And what will be left of them? 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

10. Christmas Ever After

A man and woman sit next to each other on a white background looking lovingly at us

(Image credit: Lifetime)

Now this is some real spooky sh*t. A famed romance writer is suffering from writer's block and heads off to a remote lodge. But when she arrives she begins to fall in love with a man who seems eerily familiar to the character from her bestselling series. Sounds like some ghoulish haunted by your own creation phenomena to us. Or maybe she sold her soul to get that fame? Either way, get ready to pay the piper, babe, cos your time is clearly up. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪

Airs on Sunday, December 6 at 8/7c

9. Inn Love by Christmas

A man holds a woman's hands in front of a Christmas tree

(Image credit: Lifetime)

She's heading back to her small town for Christmas (noticing a theme yet?) not only does that mean anyone she shunned will be looking for revenge, but she's also aiming to buy a quint inn for her corporate overlords. Let's be real, you were already high up on the likely to get haunted charts but throw in an evil corporation and you're definitely getting some ghostly action.

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪

Airs on Friday, December 11 at 8/7c

8. The Santa Squad

What you may be asking is a Santa Squad? Well, this film portrays them as a scary charitable organization that forcibly enters homes during the festive season to "help" unwilling participants. This year one of them is sent to help a wealthy widower - sounds like you're getting haunted to us, Scrooge - and likely ends up manipulating him into marriage... terrifying. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪

Airs on Monday, December 7 at 8/7c

7. A Christmas Exchange

House swaps are easy nightmare fuel and this trans-Atlantic one sounds ripe for terror. When a young woman swaps her quaint farmhouse for an apt in London over the holiday season, she's incredibly happy and can't believe her luck. And as for the poor man who took on her rural home... well, if horror movies are anything to go by then he might be on a permanent vacation. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪

Airs on Saturday, December 19 at 8/7c

6. The Christmas Aunt

Keshia Knight Pulliam is the proverbial final girl here who heads back home to look after her niece and nephew over the Christmas season. Creepy kids are a classic horror movie trope; The Lodge, Children of the Corn, and The Children all come to mind. That's also before we factor in an old flame who she begins to bump into around town... stalker much? 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

5. The Christmas Yule Blog

A man and woman embrace in front of a mountain range

(Image credit: Lifetime)

Taking a steam train to a rural town that's dedicated to an annual pagan celebration sounds like the beginning of a Folk Horror / Gothic mashup to us. And that's exactly how this movie begins as a blogger (yikes) heads to small town New Mexico in order to write a story about a town where Christmas and Santa Claus are terrifyingly real. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

4. Christmas Unwrapped

He's a secretive millionaire with a shocking secret. She's an up and coming journalist who'll stop at nothing to get her story. When she's sent to investigate his riches, the pair will surely get caught up in a dangerous game of cat and mouse as the young sleuth uncovers the dark truth behind his charming veneer. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

3. A Crafty Christmas Romance

Haunted book! HAUNTED BOOK! This movie features one of the most recurring holiday movie tropes: an untenable job. Here it's a woman who runs a Christmas crafting shop and finds a 70 year old copy of A Christmas Carol and decides to track down its owners. Sounds like it can only end one way: in a horrific curse tied to the clearly haunted book and probably some kind of visitation from three ghosts who will help or hinder her quest to survive the book. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

2. A Very Charming Christmas Town

When a blogger (lol) gets the chance to visit a tiny Danish Christmas town known as Solvang, it seems like a dream come true. But to this writer it sounds like some winter twist on Midsommar, and she soon meets a lovely man who wants her to stay... forever. 

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now

1. Forever Christmas

You're a tough, independent work-a-holic TV producer who gets sent on a job that sounds truly horrific. You've got to do a report on a man who celebrates Christmas 365 days a year. Sure, he's hunky... but that sounds like a recipe for disaster. After all, the pagan origins of the season mixed with his desperately obsessive Christmas ornament collecting and determination to celebrate every single day all year round can only mean one thing: A CHRISTMAS CULT!

Horror movie rating: 🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪

Available on Lifetime / On demand now