When it comes to Christmas movies, most are one and then done, but there are a couple exceptions to this rule. Unfortunately, most of them are not good exceptions.
The jury is still out on Bad Santa 2 – maybe it won’t suck?
The most well-known Christmas sequels are probably Home Alone 2 and The Santa Clause 2 but we will be talking about Home Alone 2 more tomorrow. In addition to those sequels, Home Alone has another 2 movies within the franchise (but are not direct sequels to the others) and The Santa Clause has one additional movie that completes the trilogy.
The Santa Clause 2 was released and set 8 years after the first and was fairly well received. Even Roger Ebert said he liked it better than the original! The story focused on Charlie Calvin as Santa Claus trying to find a Mrs. Claus while making sure his son gets off the naughty list. What likely made this a better sequel was the time in-between the two films to craft a meaningful story. This cannot really be said about the third installment, The Santa Clause 3 the Escape Clause.
The Santa Clause 3 the Escape Clause didn’t even get a review from Roger Ebert but I imagine that he wouldn’t have been as favourable as he was with The Santa Clause 2. While it is definitely not the worst Christmas movie, it is the weakest of all of The Santa Clause movies. Most people likely stuck through this film just to see the end of the trilogy. It was still a hit with most kids and was the only real Christmas movie for kids in 2006 (except for maybe Deck the Halls which was rated PG).
Hard to beat “Evil Toy Santa” as a villain!
Before I move on to the lesser known, and mostly direct to video sequels, I need to take a moment to talk about the highest rated “Christmas” sequel – Die Hard 2. Yes, you read that right. I totally count Die Hard 2 as a Christmas sequel, and here is why. While both Die Hard movies are “technically” action movies that happen to take place at Christmas, at the bare bones level they are about reconnecting with family – a common Christmas movie theme. In both movies the villains are attempting to ruin Christmas and force John McClaine, a “scrooge” type character who does not want to be involved, to overcome his selfishness to save the day, and Christmas. Besides, look at all the Christmas themed stuff such as Santa hats, wrapping paper, presents and Christmas music in the soundtrack – it totally keeps you in the Christmas spirit throughout.
Die Hard 2 is also the only other Die Hard movie to continue the Christmas setting, a feat which is generally unusual for an action movie. Though to be fair, most action movies set at Christmas do not have sequels. I should also mention that while I love the second Die Hard movie, I love Die Hard with a Vengeance even more – just not as a Christmas movie.
Memes prove that it’s not just me!
Alright now there are many other sequels maybe you haven’t heard of. Did you know that there is a Christmas Vacation2, or A Christmas Story 2? Both were released many years after the original and were direct to video releases. Neither movie has high reviews or has been reviewed by more than 3, 000 people which doesn’t make me want to watch them.
Also in the direct to video category is Jingle all the Way 2 which is essentially the same movie as the first but with more Larry the Cable Guy and a daughter instead of a son.
Remember how I mentioned the Jules Bass/Arthur Rankin Jr. classics about 2 weeks ago now? Did you know that many of those classics spawned sequels? Most of them have been forgotten but are generally remembered fondly despite their sequel status. There is Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, The Little Drummer Boy Book II, and Rudolph and Frosty’s Christmas in July. I had not heard of any of these sequels until this year despite being a fan of the original animated cartoons.
Looks like Rudolph drank too much “eggnog”.
Lastly, if you are into horror movies you will maybe know about Silent Night, Deadly Night and the multiple sequels that followed. Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 was released in theatres just like its predecessor (limited release) but all the following sequels (3-5) were all released straight to DVD. The first two movies in the series have gained a cult following and the sequel has even spawned a meme years later.
It’s so bad that it’s good.
Did I miss any Christmas sequels that you love/hate? Let us know in the comments!