Holidays are a time to watch movies. When thinking of the coldest winter, one might think of timeless classics such as It’s A Wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife,Or Die Hard. There are many sloppy holiday movies that are worthy of being forgotten. Here’s what some critics had to say about some terrible holiday movies.
Michael Keaton’s filmography features some truly great films: Birdman, Beetlejuice, Jackie BrownThese are just a few. One dud he’d probably rather forget is 1998’s, Jack Frost. The children’s movie saw Keaton transformed into an actual snowman via a magical harmonica. This helps him to reconcile with Kelly Preston.
This was a disaster both financially and critically. One critic wrote, “It took four screenwriters to come up with dialogue so horrendous, it could have single-handedly ushered in a new era of silent cinema.” Roger Ebert awarded it just one star, and said of the titular Jack Frost: “Never have I disliked a movie character more.” He was sympathetic toward the filmmakers though. “Jack Frost could have been co-directed by Orson Welles and Steven Spielberg and still be unwatchable, because of that damned snowman.”
Fresh off dating Jennifer Aniston Vince Vaughn starred in 2007’s Fred Claus. He played Saint Nick’s brother Fred. It is surprising how well-rounded the cast is with Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, and Kathy Bates. The film was not saved by the talented cast. The DVD featured a Ludacris music video for his song “Ludacrismas.” That didn’t quite enter the holiday canon.
The Independent wrote: “The actual effect of films such as this, however, is to put you in an entirely non-Christmas, non-joyous and non-charitable mood.” Another London paper, the Evening Standard, really dug into the flick: “Fred Claus tries desperately for a Bad Santa meets Elf vibe. Five minutes in, the man sitting next to me was sound asleep.”
Not to pick on Vaughn, but he was on a real hot streak for unwatchable Christmas films in the late ’00s. Fresh from the, err… success of Fred ClausHe teamed up for the very talented Reese Witherspoon Four Christmases. The couple visits their four parents at different Christmas parties. The Godfather Part II’s Robert Duvall was even in this.
NPR eloquently described the film’s issues: “Director Seth Gordon’s stars are charmless, his script cheerless, and his sterling supporting cast can’t seem to figure out what they’ve been brought on board to do.”
‘Deck The Halls’
What do you get when Matthew Broderick, Danny DeVito and mean-spirited, cynicism are combined? 2006’s Deck the HallsA bomb that earned a rare RottenTomatoes score of 6% was titled. This means it’s ever so slightly better than The Last AirbenderWith its 5% rating.
Anyway, Empire said “got any kids who’ve been naughty this year? Here’s their present.” The BBC highlighted one revealing line of dialogue: “’My stupidity astounds me!’ chortles Danny DeVito in Deck the Halls, a line that pretty much sums up this tale of warring neighbors with very different ideas about celebrating Christmas.”
‘Black Christmas (2006)’
Remember when they were cheaply remaking classic horror movies? The mid-2000s produced forgettable remakes for classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, House of WaxAnd A Nightmare on Elm Street. The 1974 slasher flick is one of the most famous holiday horror films. Black ChristmasThis was remade in 2006 with poor results.
There’s some real talent in this cast, like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer’s Michelle Trachtenberg and Birds of PreyMary Elizabeth Winstead is the star. Unfortunately, they didn’t have much to work with. The AV Club called it a “witless trip to the slaughterhouse,” while the Hollywood Reporter called it “one smelly lump of coal.” Variety really unloaded on it: “Even by the notoriously low standards of sadistic slasher pics, this remake is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, relying heavily on such gruesome spectacles as the baking (and consuming) of Christmas cookies made from chunks of human flesh.”
‘Santa Claus Conquers The Martians’
This one is an all-time dud. Santa Claus Conquer The MartiansThis Sci-Fi bomb was released in 1964 and largely fails its extraordinary title. It was also included in the bad movie canon. Manos: The Hands of FateAnd The Giant Claw.
BBC criticized its plot: “the plot, such as it is, proves it is possible to insult the intelligence of a three-year-old.” Another review said, “There’s no warmth to the movie, no good cheer or happiness, and (at risk of bathing in bathos), ne’er a hint of what makes the season special.” Despite its joylessness, the film still has a cult following.