Ho ho holy smokes, everyone! December is upon us, which means we’re about to be inundated with peace, love, goodwill towards men, and all types of yuletide nonsense 24/7, when all you really want to do is take a nap and be left alone. But if you’re forced to spend time with people this holiday season, don’t subject yourself to the usual Hallmark Channel claptrap. Come armed with the gift of suggestion when movie night rolls around and offer up one of these Christmas movies for people who hate Christmas, which are absolutely perfect for your inner Scrooge..
Who among us has not been to a holiday party that ends in explosions, gunfire, and Bruce Willis spouting off one-liners? The quintessential anti-Christmas movie, Die Hard is a great way to feel like you’re celebrating the reason for the season but actually just want an excuse to see Hans Gruber and John McClane play a deadly game of cat-and-mouse, interspersed with the best reason not to do cocaine ever committed to film:
Image: Warner Bros.
Are you getting too old for this shit, by which I mean pretending like you’re stoked to watch Love Actually or The Santa Clause for the 90 billionth time? Then slap on this Shane Black buddy cop classic. What it lacks in Christmas spirit, it makes up for in wild shootouts, fiery explosions, and a truly regrettable mullet on a truly regrettable person. And you know, there’s a little Christmas spirit at the end, so you can have your cake and blow it up with a hand grenade too.
KISS KISS BANG BANG
Image: Warner Bros.
No, it’s not what you saw mommy doing with Santa Claus; it’s a Shane Black Christmas classic. Honestly, this list could be comprised entirely of Shane Black movies, like the criminally underrated Iron Man 3, but Kiss Kiss Bang Bang deserves a spot on ANY list of best Christmas movies. Robert Downey Jr. stars as a thief pretending to be an actor who gets paired up with a private eye to “help him with his role” in a hardboiled crime story turned comedy of errors. It’s brutal, bloody, painfully funny, and will make you think twice about where you put your fingers.
Image: Dimension Films
I mean, the title alone is pretty self-explanatory. This guy is genuinely bad at being Santa. Billy Bob Thornton is a hard drinking, foul-mouthed mall Santa by day and mall thief by night. It’s also a mildly heartwarming story about a drunken degenerate helping a bullied boy to find the confidence he needs to kick his tormentors square in the nuts and ride off on his bike. It’s rude, it’s raunchy, and it’s the most fun you can have while still technically watching a Christmas movie.
Image: A-Pix Entertainment
What better way to bring the family together this holiday season than with the heartwarming tale of a serial killer who gets transformed into an abominable snowman! Not to be confused with the equally crappy Michael Keaton movie that came out a year later, Jack Frost is a certified schlockfest that should be watched well after the kids go to bed and perhaps with some special eggnog to maximize the enjoyment of this not-so-merry, murdery movie.
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Image: Touchstone Pictures
First of all, to you truthers in the comments saying that it’s a Halloween movie. You’re wrong. You’re wronger than the film’s director, Henry Selick. But that’s a story for another video, which I already made on Nerdist.com. This is a movie for people who want their yuletide cheer to be a little on the spooky side and prefer intentionally creepy claymation to those sinister Rankin and Bass creations. Come for the musical numbers, stay for the writhing bagman filled with bugs, and then thank your lucky stars that this is, in fact, a Christmas movie.
Image: Warner Bros.
Look, it takes place at Christmastime, so legally it’s a Christmas movie. No court will convict you. Tim Burton’s return to Gotham city is a melancholy affair that explores what makes its damaged, obsessive denizens tick, especially if you have a predilection for dressing up as a cat, a bat, or a penguin. Or if you’re Christopher Walken. We may never know what makes him tick, but since this isn’t Pulp Fiction, we definitely know it’s not a watch. Any honestly, isn’t that what the Christmas season is all about? Sublimating your own trauma and dressing up in elaborate costumes to fight crime?
RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE
Image: FS Film Oy
Ho ho holy smokes is all I can say about the Finnish thriller Rare Exports. It’s like if John Carpenter made a Christmas movie. In the world of Rare Exports, Santa isn’t a jolly old man who is surprised to meet an anthropomorphic M&M. Rather, Santa is a gigantic horned monster who wants to turn you into a fine red mist whether you’re naughty or nice. So what does one family do when local kids start disappearing? They trek out into the wilderness to capture Santa and sell him for profit. What follows is mayhem, murder, and a horde of evil elves that look like naked old men. So in other words, Christmas as usual.
Everyone’s favorite monstrosity from Alpine folklore stars in a Christmas horror comedy about the importance of upholding family traditions, especially in the face of dysfunctional family gatherings. Case in point: when family tension leads to the loss of Christmas spirit, Krampus appears to terrify, murder, and drag the naughty ones to hell. It’s full of inventive kills, creeptacular monsters, and the scariest Jack-in-the-Box since Five Nights at Freddy’s.
Image: K. Gordon Murray Presents
While this film oozes Christmas spirit from every pore, it is so baffling and poorly made that it will fill you with deep-seated discomfort rather than. Made in Mexico, this 1959 film is, in a word, bazoinkers. It involves Merlin, a horrifying telescope, a floating city full of international kids that help Santa, and the main villain is Satan. Yes, that Satan. At one point, Santa even uses a tiny cannon to harpoon Satan in the butt. You know, that old chestnut. That old satanic chestnut roasting on an open hellfire.
And those are the best Christmas movies to watch for people who hate Christmas. What are your favorites? What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
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Editor's note: Nerdist is a subsidiary of Legendary Pictures.