‘Tis the season for holiday decor, treats, and, yes, Christmas movies! Let’s be honest: there’s nothing like snuggling up on the couch with a warm mug of hot cocoa, a fuzzy blanket, and a good old Christmas classic, particularly when temperatures go from fall to frigid. It’s truly the definition of joy to the world.
While there are plenty of amazing festive flicks that we could (and do) watch over and over again during this time of year, there are also some films that we’re not sure why Hollywood greenlit in the first place. Given that nearly all holiday movies have some sort of cheesy slant, predictable family drama, and a far-fetched romance that involves an old childhood crush, and ex, or a perfect stranger, it takes a lot to make a terrible one. But alas, terrible holiday movies do exist.
With plots ranging from bringing a serial killer back to life as a snowman (I know, we’re horrified too), to a stalker mall Santa (nothing holly or jolly about this), to a sequel literally nobody asked for (absolutely nobody), here are 14 of the worst Christmas movies ever. Steer clear, if you’re trying to preserve holiday cheer.
Christmas With The Kranks (2004)
The concept of two Christmas fanatics in a town chock full of other Christmas fanatics skipping Christmas is an interesting one, though this movie lacked any particular pizzazz. Given that Jamie Lee Curtis and Tim Allen play the two anti-Christmas protagonists, we expected something way funnier.
The Perfect Holiday (2007)
This movie is what happens when sitting on Santa’s lap goes from sweet to stalkerish. It stars Gabrielle Union as a single mom, and Morris Chestnut as a struggling musician and mall Santa. When Union’s character’s daughter goes to the mall and asks Santa to send her mom a man, Chestnut’s character takes it upon himself to become her knight in a red suit. Cue the creep factor.
Jack Frost (1998)
Michael Keaton stars as a workaholic dad who dies in a car accident and comes back to life as a snow man to watch over his wife and young son. Sounds sweet at first, but yeah, snow melts and what do you think happens at the end of the movie? The young boy loses his dad again. Not exactly the uplifting vibe you expect from a holiday movie.
Jack Frost (1997)
Speaking of Jack Frost, this one is even worse. A serial killer, yes a serial killer, is scheduled to be executed but escapes, steals a truck, and gets in a wreck where chemicals from the truck dissolve him and he fuses with the snow. Things go from WTF to worse, when the snowman continues on his murderous streak as a madman made of ice.
I'll Be Home For The Holidays (1998)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays a Los Angeles-based college student who hasn’t been home since his mom died and his dad remarried. So the two strike a deal: he’ll get his dad’s Porsche if he makes it home to New York by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. This isn’t the worst thing ever, but it is a little bratty don’t you think?
Santa With Muscles (1996)
Nobody, absolutely nobody, asked for this. Hulk Hogan basically plays himself — a conceited, self-made rich guy who sells bodybuilding supplements with his face on them. A series of events lead to amnesia and he starts to believe he’s Santa Claus. And yes, it’s as bad as it sounds.
Fred Claus (2007)
The idea of Santa Claus having other relatives besides Mrs. Claus, isn’t a new one or always the best one. Vince Vaughn plays Fred, St. Nick’s (Paul Giamatti) jealous older brother. It should be funny, but it really isn’t.
Saving Christmas (2014)
Kirk Cameron plays a fictional version of himself in this religious comedy about a man on a mission to “put Christ back in Christmas.” I’ll let its 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes speak for itself.
Deck The Halls (2006)
Even your favorite HGTV show couldn’t compete with this type of absurdity, as two neighbors battle it out to have the best decorated house on the block.
Four Christmases (2008)
Family dysfunction is at an all time high in this film starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. Together, they play a couple who’s Fiji vacay is delayed and they’re forced to shuffle between four homes for the holidays. Calling it too much would be an understatement.
Babes in Toyland (1986)
The title of this film sounds like something you’d watch on a porn website, not a holiday movie, but here we are. A young Drew Barrymore stars as Lisa Piper, who awakens in Toyland, aka the off-brand setting of The Nutcracker.
Home Alone 3 (1997)
Threequels are where good movies go to die. Without Macaulay Culkin, this whole adventure is a waste.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
As someone who stans for The Santa Clause, and finds the second one quite enjoyable too, I wanted to love this movie. But, it just wasn’t a hit and instead scrapes the bottom of the barrel for a storyline.
A Christmas Story 2 (2012)
Once again, Hollywood needs to stop making sequels to holiday classics. In this installment, a now-15-year-old Ralphie (Braeden Lemasters) wrecks a car and needs money to get it fixed. Some other stuff happens, but none of it really matters, because the whole time you’re watching you’ll be thinking, “hmm, I should probably just go watch the original instead.”