The Ten Spot: Most Depressing Holiday Movie Moments

As we approach Thanksgiving in a few weeks, it is time for the onslaught of happy Christmas movies to flood cable television and movie theaters. But, have you noticed how many depressing Christmas movies there are? This list compiles ten of those moments from movies set during the holidays that just make you want to drink egg nog until you shit your pants. Happy Holidays!

#1 Gremlins

Need I say more? if you watch the above clip from GREMLINS, you know why this is number one. I mean, can you think of a more depressing story to associate with Christmas? GREMLINS has many moments of violence against Santa that just end up ruining the festive season, but Phoebe Cates story is the epitome of sad. Thanks for ruining Christmas, Joe Dante. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good f*cking night!

#2 Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

One of the funniest movies ever made, PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES is often overlooked as a holiday movie because it revolves around Thanksgiving. But, watch it again and it fits the holiday season perfectly. John Candy and Steve Martin play off of one another so well and it is a shame they did not share the screen a hundred more times. It is a movie that will make you smile. Then you get to the ending where you find out John Candy's character is homeless and his wife is dead. Wow, what a downer. The resolution? Steve Martin brings him home for dinner but his fate is otherwise left open. Does he go back to being homeless the next day? What a depressing ending. Happy Turkey Day!

#3 Brazil

Dystopian future societies do not usually bring the warm Christmas cheer. It gets especially dour when Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is imprisoned and receives a visit from Mr. Helpmann dressed as Santa. At that point in the movie, Sam has no hope and thinks his life is coming to an end. In every cut of Terry Gilliam's masterpiece this scene is depressing and lonely. No one watches BRAZIL and expects to feel happy about life after. Merry F*cking Christmas.

#4 Cast Away

Not technically a holiday movie, but Tom Hanks character Chuck Noland is on his way home for the holidays when his plane crashes and leaves him stranded on a deserted island for half a decade. Yeah, and when he gets back the love of his life has married someone else. All he has left is his best friend Wilson the Volleyba...wait, he got washed out to sea. Nevermind, there is nothing to live for. Happy Holidays!

#5 It's A Wonderful Life

Nothing is wonderful about IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. The entire story is propagated by George Bailey's suicide attempt. Frank Capra made some magical movies in his career, but this Jimmy Stewart tearjerker is overshadowed by the desire for the main character to kill himself. Guess what: he is dead the whole time! You think that angel is really giving him a second chance? No way, he actually killed himself and this is all a figment of his imagination. How's that for depressing. Even if you go with the logical plot device that he lives happily ever after, no one who commits suicide ever fully gets over it. The rest of George Bailey's life will have the spectre of death hanging over it. Happy Festivus!

#6 The Family Stone

I was forced to watch this movie by my wife when she was obsessed with Sarah Jessica Parker and SEX AND THE CITY. Needless to say, it ends up being a pretty good movie. Rachel McAdams makes it bearable to sit through. But, as the family fights and bickers over their traditional holiday get together, you slowly realize that couples are dating the wrong people and Diane Keaton's character is dying. When the movie ends, the characters are meeting the following year and one character is dating another's brother, and their mom is dead. Wow, that is a feel good movie. Tis the season!

#7 Home Alone

Ah, HOME ALONE. What a sweet story about a child causing physical harm to a couple of criminals. As a kid, I thought it would be awesome being home alone and kicking some douche-bag criminal asses. But, watching the movie again as an adult, you have a kid whose family treats him like dogshit who has to fend to survive against a couple of felons. It is a miracle the kid lives through Christmas. Then, when his mom has finally gotten home from an arduous journey home, they forgive each other. But, don't forget, they lost his punk ass again in New York City. Ah, shitty parenting and child abandonment, the stuff of Christmas dreams. Happy New Year!

#8 The Ice Harvest

Another movie that takes place during the holidays but is not about the holidays. THE ICE HARVEST is a greatly overlooked crime comedy starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. The pair play a dirty lawyer and a pornographer who steal $2 million from a crime boss only to get stuck in a blizzard on Christmas Eve. The movie is populated with sleazy characters and a sexy Connie Nielsen, but it is the double and triple crosses at the end that make this such a downer. By the final scene, almost everyone has lied and f*cked over everyone else, leaving a trail of bodies to be wrapped up by the cops the next morning. Nothing says Sweet Baby Jesus's Birthday like a bunch of dead bodies. O Tannenbaum!

#9 The Ref

My all time favorite because nothing says dysfunctional holidays like Denis Leary ranting and taking people hostage! THE REF does end on a positive note, but it is the scene where the screwed up son of Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis asks Leary to take him away that hits home. The kid is so tired of his parents fighting that he wants to leave with a convicted criminal that smells like cat piss. Yeah, that is a huge downer. Happy F*cking Hanukkah!

#10 Jack Frost

So the trailer makes JACK FROST look like a happy movie where a father learns the error of his ways and spends the time with his son that he never had the chsnce to do before he died. Yeah, the whole premise of the movie hinges on the fact that Michael Keaton's character had to die before he realized he wasted his time with his family. But, that is not the kicker. Now that he is a snowman, he is eventually going to f*cking melt and abandon his family again! What a sad, disturbing premise for a movie. Seasons Greetings!

Honorable Mention: Bad Santa

The entire premise of BAD SANTA is so depressing that the movie ends up being a heartwarming flick. But, any of the myriad moments from the movie where Billy Bob Thornton is treating the kid like shit are enough to make you feel awful. For the sake of the movie (and my own twisted nature), seeing the characters in BAD SANTA act miserable and crappy towards one another is a fun to watch, but I can see some of you normals feeling like crap after this one. Happy Kwanzaa!

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