If you get a little time out at Christmas, it's the ideal time to watch some of the best Christmas movies. And there are plenty of those, no doubt. But sometimes something doesn't have to be, y'know, actually good to be good.
That's why I've been scouring Rotten Tomatoes' Christmas movies list to find the five worst Christmas films that each score 49% or less according to the ratings site. By which I mean the 'five best worst-rated' Christmas flicks – as I swear each of these picks is worth tracking down to stream over the festive period.
Some of these bad Christmas movies you'll agree with, others you'll wonder why the bejeezus they even made it onto this list. There were plenty of others in contention, too, they just rated a little too highly (but not exactly high): from Miracle on 34th Street (1994) at 60%, to Home Alone (1990) at 66%, or Love Actually (2003) at 64%.
But I don't make the rules, so have stuck staunchly to sub-49% rated Christmas movies for your (non?) enjoyment. Happy Christmas one and all...
1. The Grinch (2000) - 49%
It may not be Dr Seuss's 1967 animated classic How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and it certainly couldn't be called a true classic in this turn-of-the-millennium format, but there's a lot to love about Jim Carrey's take on the Grinch in Ron Howard's movie adaptation.
Quirky is probably the kindest way to put it, but the kids'll love the Grinch's peculiar green face and odd antics, while adults will smirk at the sheer madness of the whole series of events. It's a fun movie, so accept it for that.
Despite one or two darker undertones, there's still a warm heart at the centre of this – that's what makes a Christmas movie, well, Christmas-y – that ensures this is a family-friendly favourite. I mean 49%? C'mon, embrace it!
2. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) - 35%
I shed a little tear to learn that the Home Alone sequel, released in 1992 with its Lost in New York suffix, scored a meagre 35% on Rotten Tomatoes. The original and this sequel are, in my opinion, utter Christmas classics (ignoring any version thereafter). Feel-good movies that reflect the cheer of the festive period – especially in this movie's snowy New York setting.
Sure, a sequel to such a Macaulay Culkin classic was always going to be hard to follow. And when you watch it back, the degree of violence inflicted upon bad guys Harry and Marv wouldn't pass the sensors with a PG rating these days, but that makes it all the more of its time.
3. Jingle All The Way (1996) - 19%
I'm not purporting that Arnie's performance in Jingle All The Way is in any way admirable, but it's often hilarious and every time this movie comes on TV I feel inclined to Watch It All The Way through.
Maybe the closest thing we'll get to a Christmas superhero movie (sorta), this flick will entertain the kids who can't see through its out-and-out awfulness, but your eyes will remain glued to the screen for the easy-to-relate-to scenes and often hilarity of it all.
It's worth it just to hear Arnie say 'Turbo Man', 'doll', and 'NOW!' umpteen times, really...
4. Jack Frost (1998) - 19%
This is one of Michael Keaton's worst-rated movies ever according to Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB, and you don't want to confuse this Jack Frost with the unrelated Christmas horror movie that came before it in 1997, plus there's no doubt it's not exactly a cheery of light-spirited film.
But despite those (admittedly major) points, I feel Jack Frost is a seasonal route into addressing issues about family, about loss, about the idealism of success, and ultimately about growing up in the modern world. If you're having one of 'those days' then don't rule it out, that 19% rating seems even a little harsh for this bad Christmas movie.
5. Deck the Halls (2006) - 6%
Well, we have a winner! I watched Deck the Halls over Christmas last year and, yes, it is indeed a terrible movie. But as a feel-good and entirely silly Christmas film it's got that wrapped up nicely. That Danny DeVito also stars gives it added appeal for me, as I find his comedy underrated.
The premise is about neighbours who ultimately get into 'Christmas lights wars', trying to take their homes to the next level (like view-it-from-space levels). If you live in an area like mine then I'm sure you'll be able to entirely relate to that (under the guise of 'it's for the kids', yeah right).
As bad as Deck the Halls gets there's always some compelling reason to remain watching – even if just to see whether you agree with its unbeatably low six per cent Rotten Tomatoes score!