Christmas time is here and what’s the holiday season without Christmas movies? Netflix has become quite the provider of original shows and movies and the 2018 holiday season is no exception. From royal weddings to Christmas magic, Netflix released four original holiday films this year and we’ve ranked them for you from worst to best! Major spoilers are left out so curl up with some hot chocolate and give them a watch yourself. You might discover your new favorite Christmas movie.
4. The Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding
A sequel to last year’s Netflix original, The Christmas Prince, this movie follows the days of soon-to-be Queen of Aldovia, Amber (Rose McIver), leading up to the royal wedding. Now preparing to live full-time in the palace, Amber tracks her wedding preparations on her online blog for her fans to see. However, Amber struggles with the countless royal protocol that inhibits her from truly being herself. The tensions between her and King Richard (Ben Lamb) also grow strong as the demands of his newly passed initiative are taxing. Persistent to overrule the strict protocol, Amber channels her inner journalist to examine the suspicions surrounding the failing initiative and does so just before the wedding.
Coming in at the bottom of our ranking, The Christmas Prince sequel could use a bit more holiday cheer. To be a Christmas movie, there wasn’t much Christmas related things happening other than the fact the wedding was on Christmas day. Labeled as a holiday rom-com, the plot of this film could have aligned it more in the mystery genre, and probably would have been more intriguing had the film focused more on the sleuth work of Amber. The first movie did well enough to garner a sequel, but whether or not a third installment will appear on our Netflix accounts in 2019 is still debatable. Perhaps a royal baby will be born on Christmas seeing as how Dec. 25 is such a significant day for the Aldovian royal family.
3. The Princess Switch
Stacy DeNovo (Vanessa Hudgens) is your typical romance movie protagonist: newly separated from her boyfriend and uses her career as an excuse to not dive back into the dating game. A Chicago baker, Stacy is invited to travel to the fictional country of Belgravia to enter a prestigious holiday baking competition. When the American baker bumps into the fiancé of the Prince of Belgravia, Margaret Delacourt (Vanessa Hudgens), the two are in awe of their identical resemblance. Agreeing to swap lives for a few days, the doppelgängers get swept away in the mysteries of each other’s lives as they are so different. The two switch back just in time for the baking competition, but are left to deal with the consequences of their identity swap.
This holiday original really is an acquired taste. It’s your classic Hallmark-like Christmas movie with cliché moments that, if you’re into those kinds of films, you’ll enjoy. However, the plot and overall predictability of The Princess Switch is what warrants it its low ranking. Hudgens’ portrayal of Margaret is uncomfortable to watch. The quiet and reserved nature of the duchess comes off as robotic and her understandings of average life seems alien-like. Once the two look-alikes begin investing themselves with each other’s romantic interests, the ending can be seen a mile away.
2. The Holiday Calendar
When a mysterious antique advent calendar is gifted to Abby Sutton (Kat Graham), the month of December becomes magical for the aspiring professional photographer. After her childhood best friend returns from traveling abroad, Abby feels like she’s not living the life she wanted. Every night while Abby sleeps, the calendar magically opens revealing a novelty toy that foreshadows an experience Abby will have that day. As the days go on, Abby’s personal life changes as she begins each day as an adventure in the making. She quickly learns that the advent calendar and its abilities have consumed her, so she rids herself of it so she can properly pursue her career and save her relationships she’s lost along the way.
The Holiday Calendar is a refreshing take on a holiday-romance film; no cheesy dialogues or cliché scenes. Instead we see the true magic of what the Christmas holiday can bring, whether it’s asked for or not. This movie gets second place in this ranking only because the themes of maintaining relationships and struggling in a career is something only a young adult audience will connect with. Although it’s not a typical family film, it’s still a Christmas movie a mature audience will enjoy.
1. The Christmas Chronicles
After an attempt to capture Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on camera, siblings Teddy (Judah Lewis) and Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) find themselves aboard Santa’s sleigh as he flies through the sky delivering presents on Christmas Eve night. When Santa discovers the curious passengers, his sleigh and reindeer fall from the sky, losing his sack of toys in the process. A rather sarcastic and witty Santa, along with the two siblings, make their way through Chicago as they track down the reindeer, recover the toys, repair the sleigh and above all else, save Christmas.
With producer Chris Columbus, whose other works include Home Alone and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it’s no surprise this movie made the top of our list. The Christmas Chronicles offers an original take on a typical family, Christmas movie and shows us that Kurt Russell is the Santa Claus we never knew we wanted. With a sarcastic remark to every comment and boastful attitude, Santa steals the show and grants laughter all the way until the end. This Netflix original also harnesses the wholesome family-feel that everyone looks for in a Christmas movie. Through their adventure to rescue Christmas, Teddy and Kate bond after the recent death of their father caused tension to grow between the two. What more can make this movie our 2018 holiday
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