Back in the olden days of the 1940s and '50s, you could count on Thanksgiving to herald the arrival of two things: drunken uncles and a cloyingly sweet slate of family-friendly holiday movies. You know, the choral-infused morality tales that sought to remind us of the true meaning of the holiday season? (Think Holiday Inn, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, or It’s a Wonderful Life—though one could argue that a suicidal dude on a bender and having visions of angels isn’t the stuff that Christmas carols are usually written about).
But as cynicism began to leak its way into the American mindset in the 1960s, even that previously untouchable holiday fare seemed to take the occasional turn to the dark side, finding a way to connect with audiences by touching upon the disillusionment of a nation.
So perhaps it’s not surprising that on the heels of a controversial and much ballyhooed presidential election, this year's holiday movie-goers will contend with Rise of the Guardians, the PG-rated animated tale of an evil spirit whose attempts to take over the world can only be thwarted by the collective power of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and their magical band of kid-friendly warriors, including the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, and Jack Frost.
Even as Andy Williams continues to try and convince us that "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," there's still a lot of bah humbug out there in the world—as these 10 Best 10 Anti-Holiday Movies attest.
Written by Jennifer Wood (@j_m_wood)