When I think of the holidays, I always grow excited to watch Christmas movies. I have many I always attempt to cover, though some of them trickle in throughout the year. Sometimes I’m in the mood for some different content during the holiday season. After all, sometimes we cannot get into the Christmas spirit no matter how hard we try! There is something about sitting on the couch with an alternative viewing process that makes us feel better. Below are ten alternative Christmas movies that won’t warm your heart, but they also won’t immediately put you in the Christmas spirit either.
About ten years ago, I stumbled upon Santa’s Slay while taking a break from cleaning the house. Santa Claus is a demon who lost a bet with a demon. If that was not enough to sell me on the idea of watching this one, Bill Goldberg plays Santa Claus. This film is a horror-comedy at its finest. The opening has many familiar faces as his time playing nice is up, allowing him to return to his wicked ways. Nicolas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) and his grandpa (Robert Culp) must warn people to say far away, and this one also stars a young Emilie de Ravin as well. Although this one is one of the cheesier horror films out there, this certainly belongs in a rotation of alternative Christmas movies this holiday season.
There are three versions of this particular film. The original Black Christmas (1974) is a slasher film about various sorority girls getting stalked by a stranger during their Christmas break. The 2006 remake Black Xmas is based around an escaped maniac returning to his childhood home, which happens to be a sorority house. And the most recent remake, still in theaters, Black Christmas (2019) centers around a sorority house once more but with a feminist upgrade on the classic telling. Each remake is a departure from their originals, but all center around Christmas time with sororities and each are great alternatives for various reason. Let us know below which one you would recommend this holiday season.
While many people still argue this film is not a Christmas movie, Die Hard should be on every alternative Christmas list ever. The film takes place at Christmas time. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) holds a Christmas party hostage! What more do you need to know to make this a Christmas film? Whether people like it or not, John McClane (Bruce Willis) attempts to not only save his wife from the German terrorists at Nakatomi Plaza but the remainder party-goers of the Christmas party this year. Was he supposed to be there? No? Does he save the day? YIPPIE-KI-YAY HE DOES! Every time John McClane says his signature phrase, a terrorist falls from the top of a building, releasing the hostages inside.
Although many people argue that Gremlins is not a Christmas film either, Gizmo is a Christmas present! Case closed! Gremlins centers around a father giving his son, Billy (Zach Galligan), a mogwai he purchases in Chinatown. Despite the grandson’s owner warning him that he must abide by three rules. He cannot expose the mogwai to bright lights or sunlight. Sunlight will kill the mogwai. He cannot let it come in contact with water. He also cannot, for any reason, feed the mogwai after midnight. Billy does not abide by any of those rules and unwittingly unleashes monsters on his town. Though the film does not end on an entirely happy note, there is hope that one-day, Gizmo will make his way back to Billy when he can take care of the creature.
In recent years, Krampus has become a far more common telling among people. In this particular film, after a lousy Christmas, a young boy Max (Emjay Anthony), accidentally conjures up a demonic demon. The conjuring occurs after Max’s cousins make fun of him for believing in Santa, and he screams to the heavens how much he hates his family. He hates Christmas. By doing so, his entire family is put through the wringer. Krampus is an excellent addition to the holidays with a plethora of talented cast members to enjoy.
This one might be a stretch to include, but this does not take away the ending being something magically that belongs to the Christmas spirit. Plus the last third of the film takes place at Christmas. Regardless, the townspeople ultimately do not understand Edward (Johnny Depp) in this Frankenstein inspired blended adaptation. Even though Kim (Winona Ryder) and Peg (Dianne West) attempt to embrace him, they know ultimately they have to let him go. Edward was not created to interact with others. However, he teaches us a lesson of kindness. Edward never intentionally hurt anyone. What better lesson to remind others of during the holiday season than goodwill toward men?
My excitement when Bad Santa arrived in theaters was one that was probably unwarranted. That does not mean I am going to leave it off this list. The film continues to age well all the same. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and his friend Marcus (Tony Cox) plan on robbing various department stores on Christmas Eve. The disguise, of course, is Santa. One that no one is going to blink an eye upon seeing around Christmas time in a department store. However, when Willie meets a kid (Brett Kelly), the conman’s plans begin to unravel as he realizes that he might have a bit of Christmas spirit in his cynical heart after all. This film is not for the family, and is beyond filthy, but is one of the funnier films one can partake in watching this holiday season.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
This film is another horror film that is a cheesy one but has a psychological take on matters. This one is not for the faint of the heart as it includes some mature content. The film centers around Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) witnessing his parents being killed by Santa at a young age, making him an orphan. His senile grandfather insists that Santa must punish those that are naughty. His grandfather does not believe in telling the child about coal. Once Billy exits the orphanage he grew up in, he inevitably ends up taking over as Santa when a co-worker cannot fulfill the obligation. Upon walking in on a rape scene, Billy suffers from a psychological break and goes on a killing rampage. Though the effects are slightly cheesy by today’s standards, that does not make this horror film any less of a creepy one to think about as it will stick with you for some time after watching it.
A high power record executive Chris Brander (Ryan Reynolds), goes home for Christmas. His goal is to entertain Samantha James (Anna Faris) and ensure that she signs with his record company. His plans change when he sees his childhood crush, Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart), and he realizes that he is not the same guy she once knew. Suddenly he finds himself in a competition with another guy from high school, Dusty Dinkleman (Chris Klein), for Jamie’s heart once more. Watching him attempt to juggle everything he has gone on to keep Samantha happy and shed his womanizer persona to get everything he has ever wanted is hilarious. Although it might be the typical Christmas classic, it’s one that ranks for a rewatch every holiday season.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
I went out of my way to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in theaters. Strangely enough, the film takes place at Christmas time, which is something I never think about when I put it on throughout the year randomly. The film focuses on Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.), who is a thief flown out to California after accidentally entering an audition. While out there is he reunited with a childhood friend Harmony (Michelle Monaghan) and becomes a part of a murder mystery alongside a private eye, Gay Perry (Val Kilmer). As the mystery unravels, the three come together to take down the culprits.
Are any of these movies on your must-watch holiday list? Are you looking for some classic Christmas movies or some cheesy Christmas goodness? Make sure to check out my other holiday lists to keep you in the mood for the next couple of days and let us know your favorite Christmas classic you must watch every season. And let us know the new ones you have discovered this holiday season that instantly became a classic for you.
Michelle Patterson prides herself on her random pop culture knowledge. She finds great joy in all things horror related and tries to enjoy movies on a weekly basis. If she’s not at the theater, she can be found at a convention or a concert. To connect with her more, check out her Instagram page, Twitter Page, Facebook Page, or her website.