Christmas means fun, food family, and friends. Then binge-watching some Christmas classics. But while there is a huge list of Yuletide films we will watch year after year (and often more than once), there are some that must be avoided at all costs. To help you steer clear of this nightmarish vortex, here are the worst Christmas movies ever made.
Set in the fictional town of Bailey Downs on Christmas Eve, a radio host stuck with a long shift on Christmas Eve tells four interwoven stories on air. A Christmas Horror Story features three teens investigating a haunted school, a vengeful changeling, a family stalked by the mythical creature Krampus, and Santa battling his undead wife and an army of zombie elves. The film jumps back and forth between the stories, and the narratives hardly connect – resulting in a confusing film even for fans of gratuitous gore. Scroll past if it shows up on Netflix.
Doris Wai, Multimedia editor
Jack Frost (1998)
Even if this film has some touching moments, I can’t get past how creepy the titular character looks. It really is astounding how they managed to make a snowman look so terrifying. I understand that they were trying to mimic Michael Keaton’s intense gaze and his crazy, perpetually-raised eyebrows, but those are features that only he can pull off. I don’t know if this is the worst Christmas movie out there, but there are so many other better festive films that won’t give you nightmares this holiday season.
Nicole Moraleda, Sub-editor
I was thrilled to see that Free Rein, the only horsey show on Netflix, was going to have a Christmas special. But maybe the title should have clued me in to how awful it was going to be. Horses definitely get shoved aside for catty girls, poor little rich girls, and love interests. Girls riding to the beach, or girls riding through the forest, is not a story about horses. There are a few unbelievable moments, too – like horses being able to pull a sleigh after two snowflakes have fallen. Ugh. It should be retitled The 12 Nays of Christmas.
Sue Ramsay, Editor
I had to dig deep to remember I actually watched this movie. In this series of films with the same plot – smart child is left alone at Christmas time to fend for himself against incompetent criminals – the first is a comedy classic, the second isn’t as good but still funny, and the third ... Replacing most of the actors and coasting on the coattails of its far superior predecessors doesn’t work; Home Alone 3 is not only bad, it’s forgettable.
Wong Tsui-kai, Web reporter
A year after Amber helped Richard secure the crown, they are set to tie the knot at Christmas. But their big plans are jeopardised when Amber finds herself second-guessing whether or not she’s cut out to be part of the royal family, and Richard is faced with a financial crisis. It’s not as if that the first film was groundbreaking – but the sequel is the worst made-for-TV movie I’ve ever seen. The plot is awful, the acting is terrible, and my eyes are still sore from the number of times I rolled them over the course of its 92-minute run time. There's also an odd wedding planner character that screams racism and cultural appropriation. It’s 2018, people! Get woke!
Rhea Mogul, Junior Reporter Manager
Bear with me. This animated adaptation of Briggs’ beautifully illustrated Christmas classic contains so much joy and traditional festive celebrating, it often appears on lists of the best Christmas movies ever made. The tale of a boy who builds a snowman that comes to life, and goes on midnight flights over the country sound like the recipe for a perfect kids’ film at any time of year. But it has two flaws. The first is that there is no speaking. It’s true that the book it's based on has no words either, but it gets a bit irritating, especially as a dog barks, and the famous theme tune, Walking in the Air, has sung lyrics. But the second flaw is the real reason I can’t watch this at Christmas (MASSIVE SPOILER): the snowman melts. I mean, it’s utterly heart-breaking, and the worst possible way to start Christmas Day. As I learned very much to my devastation as a four-year-old. Avoid unless you have a heart of stone, or a particularly dark sense of what “festive” means.
Karly Cox, Deputy editor
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad star as two desperate dads fighting to get their hands on a Turbo-Man action figure, the No. 1 toy on every kid’s wish list. Schwarzenegger’s wooden acting coupled with the increasingly absurd situations the two dads find themselves make this a cringefest from start to finish. With an approval rating of just 16 per cent on film review site Rotten Tomatoes, everyone needs to steer clear of this terrible Christmas disappointment. Bonus: Jingle All the Way actually spawned a straight-to-DVD sequel starring Larry the Cable Guy that is reportedly even worse. I wouldn’t know, because I didn’t watch it.
Jamie Lam, Special projects editor
This plot follows father Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and stepfather Brad (Will Ferrell) as they come together to give their children the best ever Christmas. However their plans are destroyed by their own fathers’ appearances, and the two rivals have to work to save Christmas together. The movie feels like a sequence of scenes packed with bad jokes, not to mention the events that happen are quite unrealistic. There is also very little chemistry between Wahlberg and Ferrell compared to their other work. Over the top and a waste of such talent. And your time if you watch it.
Alejo Rodriguez Lo, Videographer
I agree with Alejo that Daddy’s Home 2 is a complete waste of time. It is an extremely predictable, slapstick-filled film, featuring a lot of dry jokes and unnecessary violence that only felt inappropriate and lame. The dysfunctional family Christmas reunion drama is so bad that it doesn’t even qualify as an option to kill time, let alone a deliberate entertainment choice for a merry Christmas!
Nicola Chan, Reporter
My main pastime with my dad as a kid was watching films at the cinema - and we saw more than our fair share of bad ones. Christmas With The Kranks was one of them. Luther and Nora Krank are usually crazy about Christmas, but with their only daughter away over the holidays, they decide to skip Christmas for once and go on a cruise. What follows isn’t really worth sticking around to watch. The whole film is, in my dad’s words, “really stupid”.
Charlotte Ames-Ettridge, Sub-editor