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Best Dark Comedies About the Holidays: Christmas and Chanukah Play Roles in These Funny Films

Dark comedies about the holidays take the usual iconic messages about Santa Claus, holiday cheer, and goodwill toward men, and twist them around a little bit. The following eight films offer an assortment of unusual holiday goodies for naughty movie lovers.

Dark Comedy Christmas Movies

Fred Claus (2007)

  • This comedy features the obnoxious, wisecracking, troublemaking brother of Santa Claus.
  • Starring Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, John Michael Higgins, Miranda Richardson, Rachel Weisz, Kathy Bates
  • Director: David Dobkin
  • Rating: PG

Bad Santa (2003)

  • A conman and his diminutive partner pretend to be Santa and his helper during the holiday season in order to steal from department stores.
  • Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Graham, Bernie Mac, John Ritter
  • Director: Terry Zwigoff
  • Rating: R

Go (1999)

  • Told from several different perspectives, this early Doug Liman film tells of young men and women spending a long Christmas Eve trying to work out a complicated drug deal.
  • Starring Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley, Suzanne Krull, Jay Mohr, Timothy Olyphant, Scott Wolf
  • Director: Doug Liman
  • Rating: R

Trapped in Paradise (1994)

  • Three brothers rob a bank in the town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, on Christmas Eve, but get trapped there with the money because of a snowstorm.
  • Starring Nicolas Cage, Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Richard Jenkins, Florence Stanley, Donald Moffat
  • Director: George Gallo
  • Rating: PG-13

The Ref (1994)

  • A burglar gets abandoned by his partner during a Christmas Eve heist and is forced to take a quarreling dysfunctional husband and wife as hostages (and serve as referee) until he can find a way out of the situation.
  • Starring Denis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey, Robert J. Steinmiller, Jr., Glynis Johns, Christine Baranski
  • Director: Ted Demme
  • Rating: R

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

  • This story by Tim Burton tells the animated tale of Jack Skellington, the King of Halloween, discovering a happy little place called Christmas Town.
  • Starring the voices of Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, Paul Reubens, (the singing voice of) Danny Elfman.
  • Director: Henry Selick
  • Rating: PG

Scrooged (1988)

  • Three spirits visit a cold-hearted television executive on Christmas Eve in order to teach him a lesson in this comical update of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Tale.”
  • Starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Carol Kane, David Johansen
  • Director: Richard Donner
  • Rating: PG-13

Dark Comedy Chanukah Movie

Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

  • An obnoxious 30-something drunk with a bad attitude gets one last chance to redeem himself during Chanukah in this outrageous animated musical comedy.
  • Starring (voices of) Adam Sandler, Jackie Sandler, Austin Stout, Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider
  • Director: Seth Kearsley
  • Rating: PG-13