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Even if you’ve never been a Scrooge or Grinch type of character during the holiday season, it’s understandable why you could want to shout “bah-humbug” or ruin Christmas down in Who-ville. You can’t go anywhere, turn on the radio or watch TV without being bombarded by reminders that the holidays are here.
So, if you’re tired of the holiday spirit, here are 12-anti-Christmas films that you should see. They all take place during the holidays, but in the end, none of our characters really discover the magic of Christmas.
12. Go (1999)
Nothing says the holidays like drugs, sex and getting hit by cars and left for dead. But, that’s exactly what director Doug Liman pulled off with Go. Besides showing how the youth waste away the holidays, the film has a classic 90’s soundtrack and an impressive ensemble cast as well, like Timothy Olyphant as a drug dealer rocking a Santa hat.
11. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
According to this Finnish film, the myth of Santa is not the jolly, milk and cookie eating man that brings you presents every year. Instead, Santa Claus was more of a monster who enjoyed punishing the kids on his “naughty” list just as much as giving presents to the ones on the “nice” list. This twisted version of Santa was unearthed by reindeer herders, and of course, violence and hilarity ensue.
10. Trading Places (1983)
Did disgraced businessman Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) find the true meaning of Christmas? Not really. He tries to frame his replacement, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), by planting drugs in his desk, then in a Santa outfit, drunkenly steals a salmon at his former employees Christmas party, before trying to commit suicide. In the end, things work out for our two leading men, after they set up the Dukes, which leads to them losing all their wealth.
9. Lethal Weapon (1987)
Most of us forget that the Lethal Weapon takes place during the holidays, but unlike other films that take place during this time of year, Lethal Weapon has it’s anti-holiday moments. Remember when Mel Gibson’s Riggs want to off himself? He’s watching a Bugs Bunny holiday special. Then, there’s Gary Busey who screams “Goddamn Christmas!” and soots a TV set after glimpsing at A Christmas Carol.
8. Sint (aka Saint Nick) (2010)
This Dutch horror/comedy film tells the story of a murderous Santa. While other films have tackled this subject, Sint does it with a wicked sense of humor and is a lot of fun.
7. Christmas Evil (1980)
This campy and twisted holiday classic tells the tale of a man dressed up as Santa who leers in people from the neighborhood, and, of course end up dead. Despite the high body count, this is more of a psychological horror film as opposed to just a slasher flick.
6. Die Hard (1988)
Besides being one of the greatest action movies of all time, nothing says Christmas more than taking on a bunch of terrorists? Yippee-ki-yay.
5. The Ref (1994)
Ted Demme’s comedy starring Denis Leary has one of the most anti-Christmas lines ever captured on film: “You know what I’m going to get you next Christmas, Mom? A big wooden cross, so that every time you feel unappreciated for your sacrifices, you can climb on up and nail yourself to it.” Yeah. Enough said.
4. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
While not generally regarded as a good film, it is a standard slasher flick, it did spark plenty of controversy. For example, the PTA was so appalled by a guy in Santa suit going on a killing spree that they picketed the movie, which resulted in it getting pulled from theaters.
3. Gremlins (1984)
There’s no denying that Joe Dante’s Gremlins is a classic. But, most of us probably forget that it takes place during Christmas. So, what makes it an anti-Christmas flick? Well, there’s the fact that the adorable Christmas present, a mogwai named Gizmo, has some evil Gremlin offspring that wrecks absolute havoc on the small town of Kingston Falls. However, the most disturbing aspect of Gremlins, is the monologue Phoebe Cates’ character Kate gives describing why she hates Christmas. In short, she recalls her dad dressing up as Santa, attempting to climb down the chimney, only to get stick and have his body found later on. Yeah. That story was so messed up that studio heads and executive producer Steven Spielberg wanted it removed.
2. Black Christmas (1974)
This pioneering movie tells the tale of a group of sorority girls getting elaborately murdered by a serial killer during Christmas break. But, what’s more interesting is that not only did this slasher film predate Halloween and Friday The 13th, it was also directed by Bob Clark, the same Bob Clark that directed the holiday classic A Christmas Story.
1. Bad Santa (2003)
Was there any other choice? Billy Bob Thornton’s sleazy, drunken Santa is nasty and rotten to the core. Even when he tries to be nice to the kid in the end, his letter from from the joint proves that he didn’t learn a damn thing and is still a jerk. But, even at that, Bad Santa is just a hilarious film that is the quintessential anti-holiday film.