There are plenty of people who dislike and even hate Christmas with a burning passion. Every year you watch the A Christmas Story movie marathon or some generic HD fireplace loop on TV so why not change it up this year? Below, I’ve compiled a list of ten of the best anti-Christmas movies to watch during the holidays. Some will have you laughing, crying or cowering under the covers and some (like number two) will just piss off your family members!
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas
Granted, it’s not a Christmas movie per se but it’s definitely something I could (and do) watch on both holidays. This one may get noticed and some attention from your younger family since it’s considered a children’s movie but if you’re one of the few people left on this earth who haven’t seen it, The Nightmare Before Christmas is a great blend of Halloween and Christmas that the whole family can enjoy yet still morbidly fun and entertaining that you won’t care.
9. Christmas Evil
Now this is one that will have the children in your family confused and a little scared while letting your parents know you mean business this year. Christmas Evil is about a child, Harry who was traumatized by catching his parents doing the nasty, his father dressed as Santa Claus. 30 years later, Harry has a nervous breakdown and begins thinking he really is Santa and punishes those who have been mean to him. This is a delightfully gritty and somewhat disturbing new addition to my list. It was shot on a low budget in the early 1908s and while it doesn’t hold a candle to Silent Night, Deadly Night, which came out a few years later, Christmas Evil has a few WTF moments that are guaranteed to please anybody with a sick sense of humor while everyone else is too busy being jolly.
8. Black Christmas/Black X-Mas (Remake)
Yes, another horror movie. In fact, two horror movies! The original Black Christmas is a delightfully moody, slow-burn of a slasher, despite it not actually being a slasher film. It’s about a bunch of girls, living in a sorority house on Christmas while a murderer stalks them. Bob Clark, who directed another Christmas movie on the other side of the spectrum, A Christmas Story weaves a web of intrigue and suspense, almost like a “who done it?” If this film is too slow for you, your skin is on too tight! Try the remake – which isn’t as good but is still a sick and twisted modern slasher.
Ah, the 80s – When kid’s movies weren’t afraid to go dark and disturbing. If you’ve never seen Gremlins, slap yourself across the face and go download it! Granted, it’s another family-oriented movie but it has a bunch of little green monsters tearing up a city on Christmas – What’s not to love? It’s dark, fun, entertaining and nostalgic for a lot of us who were kids in the 80s. Billy gets a new pet for Christmas and it’s called a Mogwai and names him Gizmo – Cute and cuddly, Gizmo also comes with three rules: Don’t get him wet, don’t expose him to sunlight and don’t feed him after midnight. Of course, the rules are broken and little green, mischievous gremlins appear and attack a peaceful city with hilarious results. It’s also worth mentioning that infamous microwave scene where we see a Gremlin explode! Classic!
Bill Murray playing Scrooge in an updated version of the classic Dickens tale? Yes, please! This was Bill Murray at the peak of his powers and while this may not be his best movie, it’s still another classic Bill Murray performance that will have you laughing out loud at his antics and facial expressions. Murray is a shrewd TV executive who learns the true meaning of Christmas with a little help from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future – Played by other comedians most people won’t recognize, yet they are funny nonetheless. Sure, that last song is annoying and gets stuck in your head, not to mention the movie gets sappy but that’s what the story of Scrooge is all about.
5. Lethal Weapon
You can’t mention Christmas movies without mentioning Lethal Weapon. This movie is single handedly responsible for the “Buddy Cop Movie” and about a million other action movie tropes you see, even today. Old cop, Murtaugh is paired with crazy, suicidal cop, Riggs who take us through a wild romp through L.A. to uncover a massive drug trafficking ring. While the sequels got worse as they went along, the first one always stands out as a classic. A Christmas classic.
4. Bad Santa
I wouldn’t exactly say Billy Bob Thornton had to transform himself for this role but then again, it’s not hard to play a drunken low-life who is a mall Santa by day and a crook the rest of the time. Billy Bob and his short elf helper rob malls every Christmas Eve but this year, he meets a woman and a kid who give him a little heart. Bad Santa says all the things we normally don’t say about the holidays, love and money. Funny, obnoxious with a dash of heart, this movie hits all the right notes and who doesn’t love a drunken Santa? Oh, yeah. Parents.
3. Trading Places
In the 80s, Eddie Murphy was unstoppable. Before he was Norbit, Eddie Murphy teamed up with Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis and director, John Landis to make one of the best American comedies ever committed to film. Murphy is a down-on-his-luck bum while Aykroyd is a rich executive. The pair’s lifestyles are forcibly changed by two rich misers with a $1 bet that Eddie Murphy will succeed and Aykroyd will turn to crime. One of the funniest movies I have ever seen and I personally love the scenes with Dan Aykroyd, dressed as Santa. Also notable is Jamie Lee Curtis’ first topless scene! Feelin’ good! Lookin’ good!
2. Silent Night, Deadly Night
This movie would’ve been number one if it weren’t for the exception that the number one entry is too much of a classic. Silent Night, Deadly Night is a sick and twisted movie where little Billy witnesses the death of his parents at the hand of a criminal dressed as Santa. Billy is then sent to live with the nuns in an orphanage where his childhood trauma grows. Years later, Billy gets a holiday job at a toy store and is ultimately forced to dress as his own personal boogeyman. You guessed it: Santa Claus. Billy then goes on a murderous rampage, punishing all who he sees as naughty. Parents and critics alike went ballistic on this movie because they didn’t want the squeaky clean image of Santa tarnished by a murdering psychopath. It was pulled from theaters two weeks after release, banned during Christmas in the US and banned altogether by the UK. Christmas Evil (#9 on this list) came and went a few years earlier and I can’t recall any problem with that one! Silent Night, Deadly Night is a cult slasher and not meant to be taken seriously. It’s also one of the few movies I make sure I watch on Christmas and it always does its job of pissing off my family. NAUGHTY!
1. Die Hard
You knew this was going to be number one! It had to be! Die Hard set the standard for action movies as we know them, gave Bruce Willis movie star cred and changed the way action heroes are portrayed. In Die Hard, Bruce Willis plays NY cop, John McClain who is caught at his ex-wife’s Christmas party in a California high rise. They are also joined by a group of terrorists whose motive is simple robbery. Simple, right? Exactly. The plot is simple but gives back so much to the audience. Like Lethal Weapon, Die Hard gave us a new standard of action movies and is remembered for being one of the best action movies of all time, as well as one of the best Christmas movies of all time, ending up on many lists like these (mostly at the #1 spot).
Yippie Kay-Ay, Motherf*cker!