Let's take a look at the holiday movies, both good and bad, that we'd like to see remade. Believe it or not, there are few. Ten, actually.
By Jacob Hall
Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol has been brought to the screen countless times over the decades, resulting in films that range from incredible to turgid. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge's yuletide journey into his past, present and future is one of the greatest stories ever told, and it's still timeless 170 years after it was first published. Every great actor should get a chance to play Scrooge.
Jingle All the Way
An awful movie built around a pretty terrific high-concept premise, it's the perfect movie to receive the remake treatment sometime in the near future. As unfunny and irritating as the film is, it's pretty spot-on in its observation of the holiday shopping season as a madhouse worthy of our scorn. There's a smart, clever satire lurking somewhere in Jingle All the Way.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
This '80s slasher movie is barely watchable. A boy witnesses his parents' murder at the hands of a killer dressed as Santa Claus and, naturally, he grows up with a few screws loose. Eventually, he dons the red and white suit himself and embarks on a quest to punish the "naughty." And by punish, we mean "murder with an axe."
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Ron Howard's adaptation of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas may be technically impressive, but it's a tonal nightmare. Loud, garish and needlessly inflated with irritating material created for the film, it completely loses sight of what makes the original picture book (and the original animated special) so endearing and warmly remembered. Although we're not necessarily screaming for a remake, we'd definitely like to see new version, preferably animated, just so we could wash the taste of this one out of our mouths.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians one of the greatest B movies ever made, a gloriously and hilariously awful movie that has rightfully earned its place in the pantheon of "so bad it's good" cinema. As crummy as the movie is, it still has its fair share of surprising charms, and it's easy to imagine an intentionally funny remake working, especially if they play up the idea of Santa's magic clashing with the aliens' technology. Heck, just go ahead and make if a full-fledged sci-fi epic!
The Year Without Santa Claus
Have you watched the Rankin/Bass stop-motion TV movie The Year Without a Santa Claus recently? Because it's one weird movie. Santa threatens to take the year off. Two elves get stranded in a small town and get a ticket for riding a reindeer. The Heat Miser and the Snow Miser battle it out for control of the Christmas weather. This sounds less like a family movie and more like a stoner comedy starring the cast of This Is the End. Make it happen, Hollywood.
Christmas With the Kranks
John Grisham's book Skipping Christmas is no holiday classic, but it's certainly better than this big-screen adaptation of it. While the novel is gentle, sweet-natured and sentimental, the film is crass and obnoxious, filled with lousy slapstick gags and way too much Tim Allen mugging. There probably aren't too many people out there begging for a proper adaptation of Skipping Christmas, but no book deserves a film adaptation as truly atrocious as Christmas with the Kranks.
The Night They Saved Christmas
Most Christmas movies dance around the idea of a mythical figure like Santa Claus existing in the modern world. Although largely (and honestly, rightfully) forgotten now, the 1984 movie The Night They Saved Christmas follows the employees of an oil company as they realize that their North Pole drilling endangers Santa's entire operation. The movie is by-the-numbers schmaltz, but imagine the possibilities of remake. You could make a environmental fable! You could make a horror movie! The sky's the limit.
Santa Claus: The Movie
Like any larger-than-life being, Santa Claus must surely have an origin story. However, Santa Claus: The Movie is as entertaining as watching sausage being made. Instead of building an exciting story about Santa's beginnings, this expensive flop is as lifeless and by-the-numbers as you can get, hitting every perfunctory beat before completely going off the rails in the second half. If we can see Batman and Spider-Man gain their powers in more than one movie, surely an icon like Santa deserves another chance.
It's not that we want to see White Christmas remade, it's that we want to see the triumphant return of the Christmas musical. Somewhere out there, this generation's Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye are lurking in the wings, and if it takes a remake of one of the duo's best films to bring them out into the spotlight, it'll be worth it. White Christmas is the kind of old fashioned, wide-eyed musical that epitomized the '50s. We could really use some of that these days.