Best Christmas Movie Villains

With the holiday season fast approaching, it might be time to unpack those Christmas jumpers and don some festive stripes. Although the weather can be a great way to get someone into the holiday spirit, a good film about why Christmas is so special is guaranteed to prepare everyone for the day ahead, especially when viewed in the company of loved ones.


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Christmas movies are often full of lovable characters with compelling motives, but there are some exceptions. Some characters act as villains and will usually attempt to hinder the protagonist in their quest. Though most of these antagonistic characters are defeated during the climax of a Christmas movie, it’s hard to forget the lengths they went to to ruin (or in some cases save) Christmas.

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7/7 Vic Frohmeyer & Emmet Walsh – Christmas with the Kranks (2004)

The townsfolk at Christmas with the sick

Christmas with the sick follows the story of a married couple who want to spend the Christmas holidays in the Caribbean. Luther and Nora Kran have been celebrating the holidays with their neighbors for years, but this year they want to do something of their own.

While they have every right to enjoy the holidays however they see fit, their neighbors, Vic and Walt, disagree. They believe the sick should stay home over the holiday season as Christmas is a time when families and friends are together. Though the Kranks are portrayed as far more villainous than their neighbors, it’s difficult to side with Vic and Walt given how childish their arguments are.

6/7 The Grinch: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

The Grinch scolds Cindy Lou Who after she enters his home

Although most Whoville residents consider the Grinch to be a terrifying beast who loathes Christmas, the one thing he really dislikes is the people who have forced him to leave his home. Before fleeing to Mount Crumpit, the Grinch lived in Whoville and tried to lead a relatively normal life.

However, in response to his appearance, he was pursued by the townspeople and eventually retired to the mountains to live as a hermit. He spent years in isolation until he decided to take revenge on all those who disowned him by ruining their Christmas experience.

5/7 Hans Gruber – Die Hard (1988)

Hans Gruber: Die Hard

Die Hard follows the story of a police officer named John McClane whose attempt to visit his family on Christmas Eve is foiled by a group of terrorists. With the help of his heavily armed team, Hans Gruber takes control of the Nakatomi Corporation and holds hostage anyone who happens to be inside the building.

Fortunately, John manages to sneak away unnoticed when Hans Gruber enters. Believing he is the only person who can stop Hans, he secretly launches an attack on the organization. Unfortunately, Hans discovers John’s identity and uses his newfound knowledge to capture Holly, John’s estranged wife.

4/7 Stripes – Gremlins (1984)

Stripes in gremlins

gremlins is unique in that it functions as both a horror and Christmas film. Following is the story of Billy Peltzer, a young man who receives an unusual gift for Christmas: Gizmo the Mogwai. Gizmo is a magical creature that must abide by certain rules: he must not get wet, he must not be exposed to sunlight, and most importantly, he must not eat after midnight.

Gizmo breaks these rules multiple times throughout the narrative, resulting in the creation of various gremlins. Stripe, the ringleader, is by far the most dangerous. He spends most of it gremlins He wreaks havoc throughout Kingston Falls by creating as many gremlins as possible.

3/7 Oogie Boogie: The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Santa Claus and Oogie Boogie in The Nightmare Before Christmas

The nightmare before Christmas follows Jack Skellington on his journey to find a new purpose. Jack is tired of celebrating Halloween every year, but he doesn’t know how to change his lifestyle. Until he stumbles across a magical land called Christmas Town.

RELATED: Best Animated Christmas Movies

Though Jack means well, his attempt to celebrate Christmas causes a lot of trouble. After ordering Lock, Shock and Barrel to kidnap Santa, the famous gift giver ends up in Oogie’s lair. Oogie spends the rest of the film playfully torturing Santa before Jack and Sally arrive to rescue him.

2/7 The Central Park Rangers – Eleven (2003)

The Central Park Rangers in Eleven

Eleven documents the story of a young man named Buddy, played by Will Ferrell, who thinks he is an elf. Although it takes years to put the pieces together, he eventually realizes that he is human. After learning of his origins, he heads to New York City in hopes of reuniting with his father, but building a relationship with him isn’t the only obstacle on his way.

Towards the end of the film, Buddy witnesses Santa Claus crash his sleigh into Central Park. He immediately rushes to the crime scene to offer his help, but his attempt to help is cut short when the Central Park Rangers arrive. Accompanied by a thunderbolt, the Rangers’ on-screen debut is a haunting one. They may be park rangers, but they look a lot more like the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

1/7 Harry & Marv – Home Alone (1990)

Harry-Marv-home alone

Home alone follows the story of a little boy named Kevin McCallister who is left behind when his family goes on vacation. He’s celebrating his family’s absence for a few days, but things take a turn when two burglars try to break into his home.

Harry and Marv are two seasoned thieves who target the homes of families they think are on vacation. Most of their attempts go smoothly, but breaking into McCallister’s home proves to be their most challenging task yet due to the traps Kevin prepares for them. Though these “Wet Bandits” are eventually outwitted by Kevin, it’s hard not to respect the effort they went to infiltrate his home.

MORE: Anime episodes to watch during the holiday season

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