Santa Claus is coming to town—and he's pissed.
The holidays can be a lousy time for a lot of people, and if one thing's for sure, these Christmas-themed movies aren't going to help in the cheering-up department.
Be it Jim Carrey doing his
worst best Grinch impression in How The Grinch Stole Christmas or Harrison Ford hugging it out with Chewbacca and family in The Star Wars Holiday Special, these cringe-worthy concoctions will make you long for a return to the days when It's a Wonderful Life was in heavy rotation.
So here's our rundown of Hollywood's 10 most horrific holiday offerings to help chase those holiday blues—and that four-day-old eggnog you just sipped—away. Enjoy!
1. Jingle All the Way: Arnold Schwarzenegger trades quips with...Sinbad? The erstwhile Terminator stars in this 1996 family comedy about the commercialization of Christmas. The laughs fall flatter than a drunken department store Santa. But despite rotten ratings from critics, the movie was still a bargain for 20th Century Fox, which turned a $75 million profit. Jingle, jingle, jingle.
2. Deck the Halls: About as uncomfortable and unappealing as that sweater from Aunt Sally. Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick play neighbors who are getting into the Christmas spirit—just not with each other. This flick should've been titled Dreck the Halls.
3. Fred Claus: A 6-foot-5 Vince Vaughn mixing it up with a bunch of vertically challenged elves? Now that's comedy, at least according to this high-concept bomb centering on gift-giving Santa Claus (Paul Giamatti) having a brother who's a repo man. Of course, the siblings patch things up and Vince, er, Fred, saves Christmas, but not before losing his pride. Oh wait...
4. Four Christmases: Vaughn just can't quit the holidays. Here he and Reese Witherspoon play a couple faced with the unenviable task of hitting all four of their families' Christmas Day gatherings. Unfortunately, moviegoers had the unenviable chore of sitting through this bland fruitcake of a flick. It was so awful, Roger Ebert poked fun at the whole ridiculous premise by penning his review in the form of a pitch between a writer and a studio boss.
5. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: Worst. Christmas. Mashup. Ever. Nothing can prepare you for the bizarro showdown between Santa's workshop and everyone's favorite little green men. Falling into the so-bad-it's-good category, this one became a staple on Comedy Central's Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the '90s.
6. The Nativity Story: While playing the Virgin Mary here, the film's 16-year-old star Keisha Castle Hughes was herself pregnant at the time of its 2006 release. Despite this (presumably unintended) bit of Method acting, Nativity Story mostly received scathing notices, though it did become the first movie ever to premiere in Vatican City.
7. Christmas With the Kranks: We'll forgive Tim Allen the Santa Clause series, but this mess is hard to ignore. Based on a John Grisham novel (Grisham!), the funnyman and Jamie Lee Curtis just want to get away from the holidays, but every time the couple tries to get out, they're pulled back in by nutcase Christmas fanatics demanding they celebrate. We're with them. Skip it.
8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: If it weren't for Ron Howard and Jim Carrey's names above the title, we're guessing this would've fared worse. While it was a smash hit at the box office and did earn Oscar noms in technical categories, Dr. Seuss has never felt so...boring. Try as he might under hairy green latex, Carrey just can't hold a candle to the cartoon version. What was supposed to be loads of fun turned into a Christmas swindle for a lot of Seuss fans.
9. The Star Wars Holiday Special: Or not so special. They should've just called this The Star Wars Variety Hour because we'd really much rather be celebrating Life Day than this piece of junk. After it debuted in 1978, George Lucas was so appalled, he vowed to never let it be seen again. Between scenes in Wookiee-speak and Bea Arthur singing, it's no wonder. But it lives on in a galaxy very very close by: YouTube. We've got a bad feeling about this.
10. Surviving Christmas: Earning a whopping 7 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this 2004 box-office disaster stars Ben Affleck as an obnoxious rich guy who, deciding not to be alone again for the holiday, hires a family headed by James Gandolfino and Catherine O'Hara in hopes of recapturing those childhood yuletide memories. Instead of merriment, however, what we get here is ill will toward the filmmakers for making such a humorless turkey. 'Tis the season to avoid this one.
(Original version of this story was published Dec. 23, 2010, at 6:30 a.m. PT)
Now it's your turn. Let us know what should be No. 10 in the comments.