Classic Christmas Movies That Really Didn't Need Sequels

In some families, like mine for instance, watching Christmas movies is as much of a holiday tradition as opening presents, overeating, and arguing about current events after a few too many glasses of spiked hot chocolate. Christmas movies may hit their watchable peak once a year, but when just about everyone who celebrates the holiday is watching the same rotation of roughly 25 films, that seasonal peak allows a film to survive for generations. With this highly profitable surge in return viewings year after year, it's understandable why a studio or filmmaker would want to want to cash in on the festivities, but sometimes people give in to the evil temptress known as capitalism a little too hastily, and crank out unnecessary sequels to Christmas classics. Here are eight sequels to Christmas classics that no one asked for but hey, we got 'em.

Bad Santa 2

It might be a stretch to call "Bad Santa" a Christmas "classic," but if you're looking for festive fare with a little more bite, this is the Christmas movie for you. "Bad Santa" was born out of a cynical look at the holiday and serves as one of the most anti-Christmas Christmas movies which, for a lot of people, is exactly what they need during the not-so-most wonderful time of the year. Directed by Mark Waters of "Freaky Friday," "Mean Girls," and "He's All That" fame, "Bad Santa 2" takes the raunchy and cruelty of the original film and cranks it up to eleven. For some that's a perk, but for many, "Bad Santa 2" crosses the line a little too much for comfort. Christina Hendricks deserved better.

A Christmas Story 2

To call Bob Clark's "A Christmas Story" a classic feels like an understatement, considering the existence of the yearly tradition of 24-hour "A Christmas Story" marathons on Christmas Eve, the fact the Parker family home is a year-round tourist attraction, that the film has been turned into two separate Broadway productions, and that leg lamps and pink bunny slipper pajamas are part of some families' holiday decor. In 1994, a film based on Jean Shepherd's writings, "My Summer Story" was released and while technically sequel, it's a film that exists on its own merit. However, the direct-to-DVD "A Christmas Story 2" from 2012 is billed as an "official sequel," taking place six years after the events of the original film. Brian Levant of "Beethoven," "The Flintstones," "Are We There Yet," and the Christmas classic (I said what I said) "Jingle All The Way" served as director on this cute attempt at capturing 1940s Midwest living that ultimately couldn't compete with such a juggernaut predecessor. Especially not with the unforgivable blonde dye job they slopped on the actor playing teenage Ralphie.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure

You know what absolutely no one on planet Earth has ever needed? A spin-off movie centering on Randy Quaid's "Cousin Eddie" of the "Vacation" franchise. Have I seen this film? Unfortunately, yes. Was it because of my wonderful National Lampoon-loving father who didn't understand this film was made as a cash grab and I had to watch a grown man be extremely let down when the film was a total turd? Also yes. Regardless of how anyone feels about "Christmas Vacation," the fact that someone convinced Ed Asner, Eric Idle, and Fred Willard to star in a made-for-TV sequel focused on the character who put the expression, "sh*tter's full" into our pop culture lexicon is astounding. This is a real rough one, and there's not enough eggnog in the world to make it enjoyable.

Jingle All The Way 2

I'm a child of the '90s, so I have genuine and sincere nostalgia for the "Arnold Schwarzenegger learns to be a better dad" Christmas classic, "Jingle All The Way." The film gets a bad rap, but it's legitimately funny, home to one of the late Phil Hartman's best performances, and focuses on the superhero toy craze before Marvel took over all of the wishlists of our littlest family members. It's a fun Christmas movie, people are just mean. What is not a fun Christmas movie, however, is "Jingle All The Way 2" which swaps out Arnold for *checks notes* Larry the Cable Guy. The worst part? He's actually good in this movie! The movie has no need to exist but by god, Larry the Cable Guy pulls it off. It's Christmas schlock that no one asked for or needed but of all of the films on this list, it's the one that I'm the least upset about existing. It's bad, but it's so bad that it's almost enjoyable ... like most family get-togethers.

Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July

It feels sacrilegious to speak ill of anything put out by Rankin/Bass Productions, the masterminds behind all of the "Animagic" stop-motion Christmas movies we've loved for decades, but "Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July" ain't it, chief. It's the final Rankin/Bass special to use Rudolph and Frosty, the last Rankin/Bass special to feature Billie Mae Richards as Rudolph and American actor Jackie Vernon as Frosty. This should have been a smashing end to a wonderful legacy but it's instead ... really weird. The heart and Christmas spirit of the previous films are nonexistent, swapped in for some ridiculous amulet magic, Rudolph and Frosty trying to save a circus, and an evil baddie called Winterbolt that feels better suited in a "Lord of the Rings" movie. It's like Rankin/Bass tried to do an "Avengers" style crossover and it just didn't work.

Home Alone 3

As a '90s kid who grew up in Chicago, I have an innate relationship with the "Home Alone" movies, which means that I definitely owned "Home Alone 3" on VHS like some sort of serial killer in the making. Despite a noticeable lack of Macaulay Culkin, John Williams' score, and Chris Columbus as director, this movie had a theatrical release and marked the directorial debut of seasoned editor Raja Gosnell, who would later direct the films "Never Been Kissed," the live-action "Scooby-Doo," and "The Smurfs." The film is responsible for one of Scarlett Johansson's earliest on-screen roles, and Roger Ebert actually prefers this sequel to the first two films. It's like they say, there's an audience for everything.

The Santa Clause 2 & 3

I'm not happy about defending a Tim Allen movie, but damn it, "The Santa Clause" is a great movie that punches me right in the childhood Christmas nostalgia gut. There is an entire generation of movie fans who now cite "The Santa Clause" as being one of their earliest magical theatrical experiences, and who forever misspell "Santa Claus" because our brains have been hardwired to see that pun as the correct spelling. That being said, there was no need for "The Santa Clause 2" or "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause." Yes, both films made Disney a metric ton of money, but there was no need for these forgettable sequels. "The Santa Clause" is a perfectly encapsulated movie that doesn't deserve to be bogged down by an unneeded trilogy or the nightmare fuel that is the fake toy Santa from "The Santa Clause 2."

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3

I know plenty will argue that there was no need for "Silent Night, Deadly Night 2" considering 40 minutes of the film's 88 minute runtime is just footage from "Silent Night, Deadly Night," but those people are wrong because otherwise we wouldn't have gotten the "Garbage Day!" scene or Eric Freeman's dedicated performance that should be taught in film school. "Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!," however, we didn't need. Bill Moseley takes over the reins as Ricky, and the film genuinely tries to do something different than the first two, but it lacks the absurd charm of the previous two and feels like a run-of-the-mill slasher. "Silent Night, Deadly Night" isn't a good movie, but it's a Christmas horror staple because it's so unique to itself. The third installment sucks that life out a little bit, but it does thankfully set the stage for the next two unrelated sequels. "Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker" is legitimately awesome.