Bah Hambug!: What’s The Worst Christmas Movie?

With so little free time during the holiday season and so many great Christmas movies to choose from — be it Gremlins or It’s a Wonderful Life or whatever your personal favorite is — there are few things that can kickstart a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder quicker than hours wasted watching a bad Yuletide flick.

In this writer’s opinion, the worst Christmas movie in recent memory was Disney’s 2009 adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Written and directed by Robert Zemeckis (a long way away from his career peak in the Back to the Future, this ugly CGI adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Yuletide classic is full of uncanny valley creepiness and a general sense of why bother. When Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey, in a typically hammy and over-the-top live-action performance that was later digitized) humbugs his way through the holiday season, he encounters three ghosts who teach him the errors of his miserly ways. You know how this plays out, but there’s a certain lifelessness to the visual design of the characters, and the CGI is meant to showcase the technical wonders of modern Hollywood, but instead everything just feels creepy and off — like the cinematic equivalent of stale fruitcake or a drunken mall Santa. It also should be noted that between this and his performance in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Carrey has the unique honor of starring in two of the most awful holiday films of the past 20 years.

But enough about my thoughts on what movies fire up my inner Scrooge, I want to hear what holiday films you hate. In the comments below, sound off about which Christmas movies you loathe and tell us why. And then go put on your favorite seasonal flick to feel better. Fa la la la la!

This article originally ran in 2016, and is being reprinted as part of our holiday celebrations.

  • Quiggy

    I have yet to see anything as bad the 1985 movie “Santa Claus: The Movie”. I don’t begrudge you adding it to the favorite 80’s Christmas Movie” poll. I would have said I bet it doesn’t get even one vote, but as I just checked, surprisingly, it has. I never thought I might be in the minority for disliking that one, but maybe I am. Even the two Jim Carrey stinkers you mentioned have a couple of redeeming characteristics by comparison.

  • NJ Lady

    Wait a minute. Wasn’t there an Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon movie back in the 1970s in which they or one of them played elves? It was a silly but entertaining film. Albert Finney’s modern version of “Scrooge” was excellent, as well. The best will always be Alistair Sim’s portrayal, of course.

  • rocky-o

    i don’t like ‘so-called’ christmas movies that really aren’t, like ‘home alone’ or ‘die hard’…just because a movie takes place at christmas time, doesn’t make it christmas movie…

    the best…’christmas in connecticut’ starring barbara stanwyck…

    • WDPjr

      My favorite is Remember the Night, with Stanwyck and MacMurray.

  • Alex Krajci

    Die Hard (1988).