The holidays exist for a reason. If nothing else, they’re the days when you get to sleep in, watch Netflix, and not worry about work. And Christmas is the king of all holidays, bringing a never-ending stream of Christmas-themed entertainment with it.
But what happens if you don’t celebrate Christmas? Or if you’ve had enough cheer for one year? Or if you just hate Christmas for no good reason?
Enough With the Cheer
Feeling like you’ve had enough of the cheesy stuff that fills the schedules over the holidays period? If so, welcome to our list of hand-picked anti-Christmas movies on Netflix. Your antidote to the bottomless cheer and joy that seems to inhabit some people at this time of year.
The movies we recommend below are gloomy and dark. They depict a different side of life, like misery, violence, psychological disorders, and depression. Because life isn’t always about singing and dancing around the Christmas tree.
1. Bad Santa (2003)
We start the list off with a comedy. Bad Santa will be the perfect movie choice for those of you tired of over-the-top cheesy Christmas movies like How the Grinch Stole Christmas but still want a film set at this time of year.
Don’t let the Santa Claus costume fool you. Bad Santa is a crime caper centered around a common crook called Willie. He takes a department store Santa job to break into safes and, together with his helper Marcus, steal all of the money made during the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Bad Santa has its moments and is full of dark comedy and vitriol. This movie won’t be for everyone, but if you’re scanning this list, you will likely enjoy this movie with a truly anti-Christmas spirit feel.
2. A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
Our second pick even features the word “Christmas” in it. What about the promised anti-holiday content? Well, before you go back to your holiday eggnog, give A Christmas Horror Story a chance.
This Christmas horror might not be on your radar yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth your time.
A Christmas Horror Story is an anthology film, comprised of four different stories interwoven together, related because they’re all told by a radio DJ played by William Shatner. And while it’s not the only anthology Christmas horror, it has some unique features.
The evil in the movie is represented by ghost possession, clone doppelgangers, Krampus, and even zombie elves. Be ready for some messed up plot twists like a pregnant ghost using a human as a conduit to give birth to its baby. On top of all that, the movie’s ending features a rather epic battle between Santa Claus and Krampus.
3. Zodiac (2007)
Picking up where a Christmas horror left off is David Fincher’s Zodiac. Things just got a whole lot darker, with this crime thriller based on a real story of a serial killing investigation that is still ongoing to this day.
The film follows the years-long investigation by police and journalists of the Zodiac Killer, a serial murderer whose killing spree stretched from 1963 to 1972 in California.
Zodiac has everything to take your mind off the Christmas celebrations. The recreation of the killings, the killer’s back-and-forth play with the police, the collective efforts of detectives and journalists in uncovering the mystery. And all of that only leads to more puzzles and riddles.
Zodiac might not be as bloody and fast-paced as some other entries on our list, but it will definitely leave you feeling unsettled and somewhat hopeless.
4. Silent Hill (2006)
Things will only be getting darker as we move down the list towards the darkest, bleakest movies that will make you forget the holiday spirit. We proceed with our next choice: Silent Hill.
The fog and ash blanketed town of Silent Hill is the place that the Hell calls home. When her adopted daughter mysteriously disappears, Rose takes a journey inside the strange, desolate town.
For those of you who remember the games, the movie does them justice. Every monster Rose encounters in Silent Hill is creepy and realistic-looking, every scene is extra graphic and bloody. Even if the completely fictional character of the story won’t help you relate, the movie will make you gasp, clutch your duvet, and cover your eyes once or twice.
5. Funny Games (2007)
Before we cross over onto the second half of our anti-Christmas movie list, we’re going to ramp up the bleakness. The following films aren’t just dark, they each contain one or more disturbing ideas. First up is a movie that will most likely leave you with a sick feeling in your stomach: Funny Games.
An American upper-class family arrives at their vacation home on Long Island. When they get two friendly-looking visitors they’re taken hostages and are forced to participate in a number of sadistic games in order to stay alive.
This controversial movie will take you on a journey through a series of emotional and analytical episodes by the end of which you’ll be faced with your own role in the film.
6. Memento (2000)
If you thought you were confused by the meaning of Funny Games then get ready to spend the best part of two hours wondering what is real and what isn’t in the American neo-noir psychological thriller that is Memento.
Follow Leonard, a man who is unable to store recent memories due to the condition he developed as a result of an attack by two men. The attack also took his wife’s life, and with the police not accepting his version of events Leonard starts his own investigation to get to the bottom of what really happened.
The many puzzles and dark twists of the film will keep you on the edge of the seat, while the black and white and color sequences that move both chronologically and in reverse order will drive you crazy.
7. Seven (1995)
Another R-rated masterpiece that will require a few hours for you to calm down after you finish watching it: David Fincher’s thriller Seven.
Seven tells a story of two detectives that get caught up in the disturbing case of a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as a motif in his murders.
This fast-paced, grisly thriller will take your full attention. Its hellish atmosphere, overly graphic visuals, excellent acting, and an extremely grim yet realistic plot will make you forget the holidays even exist. Watch Seven if you don’t mind spending a few hours (or days) after still completely consumed by the movie.
8. Requiem For A Dream (2000)
Not all of the films on our list are dark and murderous. Some are just deeply depressing and ghastly. An American psychological drama that you will barely manage to watch once and swear to never attempt watching again: Requiem For A Dream.
The film follows a few characters that are trapped in between the world of delusion and a harsh reality. Each of them is fighting their own battle and has a different form of drug addiction.
As the plot line moves forward, you realize what kind of ending awaits. Nevertheless, you can’t help but see it through. A terrifying movie, and one of the most disturbingly heartbreaking journeys you can ever take when watching a film.
9. Oldboy (2003)
A South Korean neo-noir action film called Oldboy is up next. Watch this violent and offbeat story of punishment and revenge and you’ll quickly realize your family’s issues are nothing in comparison.
Oldboy is a never-ending puzzle that keeps you guessing for the entire duration of the movie. A businessman is imprisoned for 15 years in a cell that looks more like a hotel room. When he finally gets released, still clueless about his captor, he begins his quest for vengeance.
With its numerous over-the-top violent action scenes, Oldboy is definitely not for the squeamish. But if you accept the challenge, this movie might become the single most exciting (and equally insane) action movie you’ve ever seen.
10. The Road (2009)
Does the world around you still feel like one long Christmas carol? Looking for a way to tone it down a bit and get a good feel for the misery that is real life? Then the culmination of our “feel bad” movie collection, The Road, may be just what you’re looking for.
The Road is a post-apocalyptic tale of a father and his young son trying to survive in the harsh reality of this new lifeless world.
The movie sets off the depressing mood straight away by exploring the story of the boy’s mother committing suicide at some point before the main plot began. As they encounter groups of violent marauders and cannibal gangs, and fight disease and death itself, you realize that for the boy and his father hope isn’t always an option.
On a Positive Note
Some of the films mentioned above are extremely difficult to watch. However, once you’ve made it through them, going through emotional hell and back in the process, you might find yourself feeling fresh and invigorated. You may even be ready to celebrate the holidays by watching the best Christmas movies available on Netflix.
But before you begin your Christmas or anti-Christmas marathon, we’d like to hear from you.
How do you escape the constant stream of Christmas-themed films and TV shows? Have you found your favorite “feel bad” movie on our list? Or are you dying to tell us about an anti-Christmas movie we should have featured instead? Please let us know in the comments below!