10 Holiday Movies for People Who Hate Holiday Movies

Holiday Movies for People Who Hate Holidays

Courtesy of Black Mirror (Netflix)

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Holiday Movies for People Who Hate Holidays
Courtesy of Black Mirror (Netflix)

More Naughty Than Nice

Holiday movies can often be too saccharine for some tastes, with their heartwarming lessons and sleigh bell-enhanced ballads. If touching family dramas, emotional homeward-bound journeys, and rom coms do nothing for your inner Scrooge, why not try a horror movie or crime caper set in late December? While Die Hard is the most classic example (with Gremlins a close second), we've got a few more suggestions, too. Here are films and TV specials to watch if you just plain don't like classic holiday fare. What are your favorites? Tell us in the comments.

Courtesy of imdb.com

Krampus (2015)

The Krampus is a furry, horned beast in Austrian folklore who acts as a counterpart to St. Nick. Instead of bringing gifts, Krampus comes to punish the naughty, perhaps with a good switching or by dragging them to Hell. In the film Krampus, a snowed-in family is terrorized by the beast after their petty differences get in the way of the Christmas spirit. Expect murderous gingerbread men and snowmen, plus the eponymous creature.

Rare Exports
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Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

This Finnish horror/fantasy film is a unique and darkly comedic take on Christmas mythology. On Christmas Eve, a Lapland reindeer hunter and his young son face a fantastical nightmare when a nearby archaeological dig exposes an ancient threat. The monsters are a fascinating play on Santa Claus and his merry elves, without being cliche. Rare Exports is a smart film with excellent reviews -- sometimes rare within this genre.

Batman Returns
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Batman Returns (1992)

Tim Burton's second Batman film stars Michael Keaton as the caped crusader. Batman must thwart both Catwoman's (Michelle Pfeiffer) plans for vengeance and Penguin's (Danny DeVito) political schemes -- often complicated when he's still Bruce Wayne by day. The events unfold over Christmas, making for a clever juxtaposition of Gotham's darkness and holiday cheer, perhaps best illustrated by goons leaping out of a massive present or bats swirling around a glowing Christmas tree.

Black Mirror White Christmas
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Black Mirror: ‘White Christmas’ (2014)

For something truly grim, there's the achingly isolating Black Mirror Christmas special, "White Christmas." The 74-minute episode stars Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall as two employees of an outpost surrounded by snow and little else. Despite working together for five years, they know hardly anything about one another. Hamm's character attempts to change this over Christmas dinner, and we soon learn the miserable circumstances that lined each man's path to their current job.

Black Christmas
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Black Christmas (1974)

One of the first horror films in the slasher genre, Black Christmas takes place at a sorority house in the days leading up to Christmas. The women who live in the house are first plagued by an anonymous prank caller, who hisses lewd things into the receiver whenever one of them answers. In the days that follow, they learn that a mysterious stalker is picking them off, one by one.

Silent Night, Deadly Night
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Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

As a young child, Billy learns that Santa's job is to reward good children and punish the naughty. Later, a robber disguised as Santa murders Billy's parents, leaving Billy and his brother to grow up in an orphanage. As an adult, Billy is hired at a toy store and things are going well until his boss forces him to don a Santa suit. The suit triggers something dark in Billy, and he embarks on a quest to punish evil-doers by sending them to their death.

Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas
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Community: ‘Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas” (2010)

One thing Dan Harmon's Community -- a sitcom about a study group at a community college -- excelled at was exploring tropes, and holiday episodes are no exception. In season 2's "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," the group takes a excessively jolly, stop-motion adventure inside student Abed's mind. Each character is imagined as a different toy as they search for the meaning of Christmas, battling humbugs and facing their pasts in the Cave of Frozen Memories.

The Ice Harvest
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The Ice Harvest (2005)

This crime caper/comedy stars John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton as two crooks trying to steal $2 million from a mob boss on Christmas Eve. Hijinks, betrayal, and mayhem follow as the pair attempt to evade a hitman and escape town with their loot. While it's no critical masterpiece, The Ice Harvest is a well-cast, fun ride you don't have to think too hard about while sipping eggnog among friends.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Considered one of the worst films ever made, this Christmas sci-fi flick has appeared on many programs dedicated to so-good-its-bad cinema, including Mystery Science Theater 3000, Elvira's Movie Macabre, and RiffTrax. The plot revolves around a group of Martians who abduct Santa Claus and two Earth children to bring some light-hearted fun to the children of Mars. Yet trouble ensues when not every Martian agrees with Santa's influence on the Red Planet's rigid society.

Christmas Evil
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Christmas Evil (1980)

Christmas Evil is similar in plot to Silent Night, Deadly Night. In this slasher, young Harry is traumatized after catching his mother fooling around with Santa Claus (who is, of course, his father in a suit). As an adult, he has an unnatural obsession with Santa, keeping a journal of the neighborhood's good and bad children, while working at a toy factory. Cruel treatment by his co-workers and his frustration with society lead to a righteous streak of mayhem. It's a bizarre cult classic that inspired many more.