Christmas still feels like a long way away, though it appears Netflix’s audience is already feeling festive. Holiday-themed movies are steadily climbing the charts, with two Kurt Russell movies doing particularly well on the Netflix Kids section.
These are 2018’s The Christmas Chronicles and its 2020 sequel The Christmas Chronicles 2. Both movies star screen legend Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. The first movie sees his sleigh malfunction, with Santa and two children rushing to save Christmas Day by delivering presents. The sequel sees the same characters facing off against a troublesome elf, whose antics threaten the North Pole and mean Christmas must be saved. Again.
Neither of these movies is an all-time classic, though admittedly Russell is pretty great as Santa. Critics noted his considerable star power and acknowledged that the movies at least try to subvert typical festive fare, even if by the end they get appropriately mushy and emotional.
But honestly, given the usual caliber of Christmas-themed movies you could do a lot worse. For example, Emilia Clarke’s 2019 movie Last Christmas is once again ascending the streaming charts, which Rolling Stone memorably described as “incredibly, shockingly, monumentally bad. The kind of bad that falls somewhere between finding a lump of coal in your stocking and discovering one painfully lodged in your rectum.”
Having suffered through it I can’t disagree. And anyway, at least when you’re watching The Christmas Chronicles you can pretend that Snake Plisken has been hit by a The Santa Clause-like curse.