Instead of just reaching for traditional Christmas films like Home Alone, Love Actually and Elf (not that there’s anything wrong with those, btw), how about you give soem of these underated Christmas films a turn this festive season?
1. Babes in Toyland
IMDb says: 11-year-old Lisa has no time for toys; she’s too busy taking care of her siblings and cooking for her mother. During the Christmas Eve blizzard, Lisa travels to Toyland in Wizard of Oz-like fashion and arrives just in time for a wedding. Young Mary Contrary is about to marry mean, old Barnaby Barnacle, despite the fact that she loves Jack Be Nimble. Lisa tries to stop this terrible wedding and, together with her new friends, discovers that Barnaby wants to take over Toyland. Lisa, Mary, Jack, and Georgie Porgie ask the Toymaster for help, but he can’t help them as long as Lisa doesn’t truly believe in toys.
We say: Surely a festive film starring both Drew Barrymore and Keanu Reeves can only ever be a hit?
2. Mixed Nuts
IMDb says: The events focus around a crisis hotline business on one crazy night during the Christmas holidays.
We say: There’s not a single Steve Martin film we’ve met that we didn’t like.
3. Bad Santa
IMDb says: A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
We say: There are so, so, SO many inappropriate jokes in this movie.
4. Jingle All The Way
IMDb says: A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas, however, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.
We say: Saying “Jingle All The Waaaeeeeyyyyeeeyyy” in an Arnie voice is incredibly satisfying.
5. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
IMDb says: A college student experiences difficulty in getting home for Christmas after being hazed by his friends. While struggling to get home in time for Christmas, he learns quite a bit about himself and the true meaning of the holiday.
We say: Jonathan Taylor Thomas was, and still is, the hottest Father Christmas we’ve ever seen. And look – a super-young Jessica Biel!
6. Just Friends
IMDb says: While visiting his hometown during Christmas, a man comes face-to-face with his old high school crush whom he was best friends with: a woman whose rejection of him turned him into a ferocious womaniser.
We say: Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit? LOL.
7. Fred Claus
IMDb says: Fred Claus, Santa’s bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole.
We say: John Michael Higgins as Willie The Elf is magical.
8. Christmas With The Kranks
IMDb says: With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.
We say: The only person more Christmassy than Michael Buble is Tim Allen.
IMDb says: A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.
We say: Two words: Bill and Murray.
10. Silent Night, Deadly Night
IMDb says: After his parents are murdered, a tormented teenager goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa, due to his stay at an orphanage where he was abused by the Mother Superior.
We say: Bit of a bummer, but worth a watch just for the creepy party they have in the toy store.
IMDb says: A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa’s, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding.
We say: Let’s be honest – Prancer is the best reindeer. Soz, Rudolph…
12. The Family Stone
IMDb says: An uptight, conservative businesswoman accompanies her boyfriend to his eccentric and outgoing family’s annual Christmas celebration and finds that she’s a fish out of water in their free-spirited way of life.
We say: Anyone slipping on wet floor-pie is brilliant. But Carrie Bradshaw slipping on wet floor-pie. Bravo, The Family Stone. Bravo.
13. Deck The Halls
IMDb says: Two neighbours have it out after one of them decorates his house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space.
We say: Because when has two dads accidentally being hot for their daughters ever not been funny?
14. Four Christmases
IMDb says: A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas.
We say: Vince Vaughn’s wrestling brothers are the greatest wrestling brothers we ever did see.
15. Jack Frost
IMDb says: A father, who can’t keep his promises, dies in a car accident. One year later, he returns as a snowman, who has the final chance to put things right with his son before he is gone forever.
We say: In fairness to shitty dad Michael Keaton, his band is good.
16. And the horror version of Jack Frost, obvs
IMDb says: A serial killer dies, comes back as a snowman, and wreaks havoc.
We say: It COULD happen.
17. The Best Man Holiday
IMDb says: When college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays, they discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be reignited.
We say: Christmas isn’t Christmas without a few fights.
18. Happy Christmas
IMDb says: After a break up, Jenny moves in with writer Kelly, her filmmaker husband, and their child. Despite a rocky start, Jenny’s influence helps Kelly realise that an evolution in her life, career and relationship is necessary for her happiness.
We say: This feels bleak at times, but power through.
19. Last Holiday
IMDb says: Upon learning of a terminal illness, a shy woman decides to sell off all her possessions and live it up at a posh European hotel.
We say: All’s well that ends well, eh?
20. The Night Before
IMDb says: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
We say: Just admit it, lads – we’re too old to party now.
21. Ernest Saves Christmas
IMDb says: Ernest helps Santa Claus as he searches for his successor.
We say: This is almost as good as Ernest’s Halloween film, Ernest Scared Stupid. Almost…
22. The Family Man
IMDb says: A fast-lane investment broker, offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife.
We say: Any Nicholas Cage film is just fine with us.