Celebrate Christmas by remembering some of the worst, not so merry holiday movies

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Ari Harvey

Christmas movies are oftentimes tacky, but how about just plain wacky?

Garrett Allen, Staff Writer

Whether you love or hate Christmas movies, there is no stopping them while Dec. 25 is fast approaching. 

Many of these films are beloved for their humor, Christmas spirit and “happily-ever-after” plots that end with all the characters putting aside their differences to enjoy the holiday. 

Although most Christmas movies have those elements, some of them are harder to watch than others. Even the spirit of Christmas can’t save some of these films from the disgust of the masses. 

Follow along on this journey as I go through some of the worst Christmas movies the holidays has to offer.

“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”

This movie is as ridiculous as the title makes it out to be, but not in a good way. “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” is a bloated, low-budget Christmas movie that also markets itself as a sci-fi movie. With a plot about a plan by Martians to kidnap Santa, this movie’s random clashing of the two genres is an embarrassment to both. 

The film had the opportunity to be an enjoyable, hokey movie that isn’t too serious. Instead, the plot is extremely incoherent and somehow takes a twist about Santa going to space and turns it into a long, uninteresting mess. In fact, this movie was so terrible it was featured on the cult classic show, “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” which, if you don’t know, riffed over some of the worst movies. This one definitely qualifies.

“Home Alone 3”

When judging a sequel, it’s good to remind yourself what made the original movie so good. 

For the original “Home Alone,” you could say it was the charismatic performance by Macaulay Culkin, or perhaps the zany and comedic slapstick from the two crooks, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. In “Home Alone 3,” however, you would be glad to know they scrapped all the original actors from the first two films and replaced them with entirely new ones. Even worse, it is the same plot of the first movie regurgitated with brain dead comedy replacing the jokes from the first movie. 

Shockingly, this movie was written by the same writer as the first two movies: John Hughes. That’s right, the same person who wrote both “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” also wrote this disappointment of a movie. I suspect a large reason for the drop in quality was the change in director from Chris Columbus to Raja Gosnell, who you may know as the director of the classics, such as “Big Momma’s House” and the live-action Scooby-Doo movies.

“Christmas with the Kranks”

“Christmas with the Kranks” reminds me how a film can have big actors and a great writer, but still come out as a monotonous mess. With a cast of famous actors such as Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Akroyd, along with screenplay writer Chris Columbus who directed “Home Alone,” you would expect the movie to be at least decent. Unfortunately, the movie is barely even watchable. 

The plot focuses on a couple, The Kranks (played by Allen and Curtis), who decide to abandon their town for the upcoming Christmas and take a cruise instead. However, these plans are thwarted by cult-like neighborhood Christmas worshippers who felt insulted by the Kranks’ plans to leave. The neighborhood achieves their goal by harassing, sabotaging, and embarrassing the Kranks until they agree to stay for Christmas. 

This confusing plot is accompanied by lazy writing and poorly delivered humor. Only watch this movie if you enjoy watching Allen injure himself and make strange noises.

“Deck the Halls”

“Deck the Halls” is another movie where we sadly have to watch as somewhat respected actors are featured in a movie so bad that even being released at Christmas couldn’t stop it from bombing and causing 20th century Fox to lose $4 million. 

Starring universally liked actors Danny Devito and Mathew Brodrick, “Deck the Halls” follows the boring story of two neighbors who compete to see who can have more home decorations than the other. Other than being a stain on both of these actors’ careers, the movie is directed by John Whitesell, a terrible director most known for “Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son” and “Big Momma’s House 2.”

There is no other way to describe this movie as anything other than lazy and boring. The jokes are clearly made for children so anyone above the age of eight is left bored and dejected. If you’re wondering who could possibly write a movie this bad, it was actually three people, one of whom is Don Rhymer. Why is this name important? Well, Rhymer may be better known as the writer of every single Big Momma’s House movie. You know, I think I might be starting to see a trend between Big Momma’s House and terrible Christmas movies.

“The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause”

Don’t be fooled by the somewhat clever title of this movie. Any amount of effort that went into writing stopped after they came up with the title. 

Being the third movie in the “Santa Clause” trilogy starring Tim Allen, this movie is predictably uninteresting and obviously a project no one wanted to work on. Missing a lot of the actors from the first two movies, the third installation feels soulless and pretty obviously a cash grab by a company who had Allen contracted for one more movie. 

Everything about this movie is lazy, from the script to the acting even to the music. I guess you can’t expect much from a guy who composed music for, you guessed it, “Big Momma’s House 2”. If you don’t believe there is a “Big Momma’s House” conspiracy now, I don’t know what to tell you.

“Jingle All the Way 2”

And to close the list, we have a holiday movie that combines all the worst elements of these movies into one terrible package. 

“Jingle All the Way 2” is a sequel to the 1996 movie of the same name. If you have seen the original you know it stars Arnold Swartzneger, who basically makes the movie worth watching. The sequel made almost 20 years later not only does not feature Swartzneger but also none of the original actors from the first movie. 

Starring Larry the Cable Guy and produced by none other than the WWE Studios, “Jingle All the Way 2” serves as a simplified retelling of the original movie but worse in every way. When they got rid of the original cast the comedy must have gone with them as the movie seems like it could barely make a six year old laugh. 

To top that, the box office returns were so low that the WWE studio wiped all traces of this mess off the internet. The movie just goes on for too long with not much happening, leaving the movie feeling shallow and pointless.

Unlike other movie lists in the past, I do not recommend you watch any of these movies. If you do end up willingly, or unwillingly, being subjected to any of these movies,  then may God have mercy on your soul.