One of our favorite things to do this time of year (when we tuck the kids in bed) is to grab a cocktail and watch one of these adult Christmas movies. There are selections for every mood…from funny to scary and everything in between.

Don’t have time for all of them? We’ve starred our top 5 favorites!

Save Charlie Brown and other family-friendly selections for the kids – these holiday movies are just for the grown ups.

adult christmas movies
Courtesy of Rare Exports

Christmas Horror Movies

Rare Exports ⭐

Summary: In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 meters deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up. This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.

Notes: More suspenseful than scary, I love this Finland film based on two short stories. We watch it every year and highly recommend it!


I’m cheating a little here since Elves is a new series (6 20-30 minute episodes) on Netflix (not a movie) but we can’t go without mentioning it here since it resembles the Finnish/Danish holiday horror-fantasy we love so much in Rare Exports. Plus, Dan (hubs) is Danish and his country’s scary tales are always the best.

Summary: A Christmas vacation turns into a nightmare for a teenager and her family when they discover an ancient menace that stalks their island getaway.


Summary: A boy who has a bad Christmas accidentally summons a festive demon to his family home.

Anna and the Apocalypse

Summary: A zombie apocalypse threatens the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – forcing Anna and her friends to fight, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the undead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. But they soon discover that no one is safe in this new world, and with civilization falling apart around them, the only people they can truly rely on are each other.

Black Christmas

Summary: On Christmas Eve, an escaped maniac returns to his childhood home, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one.

Notes: There is a 1974 version and a 2019 version…it’s fun to watch the old one after the new one.

A Christmas Horror Story

Summary: Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.

Notes: Of all the shows in our list, this is by far the scariest!!

The Night Before

Stoner Christmas Movies

The Night Before ⭐

Summary: On Christmas Eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties. Seth Rogan, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Anthony Mackie steal Christmas. Don’t miss this one.

Notes: Seth Rogen…that is all. 🙂

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas

Summary: Six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure, stoner buds Harold Lee and Kumar Patel cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree.

Office Christmas Party

Summary: When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand.


Summary: The aftermath of a drug deal as told from three different points of view. It’s not exactly a Christmas story, but it takes place at Christmas and it’s super weird.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Summary: Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion. This Tim Burton masterpiece has become a cult classic.

Four Christmases

Adult Humor at Christmas

Bad Santa ⭐

Summary: A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid that shows him some holiday spirit.

Notes: This is one of those rare occasions where the sequel and the original are both really great. Plus, who doesn’t love Billy Bob Thornton in a Santa suit?

Four Christmases

Summary: A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas.

Note: This is one of those hilarious feel-good movies that is still comfortable to have on when the in-laws are over.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation ⭐

Summary: The Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Notes: Is it really the holiday season if you don’t watch Chevy Chase?

SNL Skits

You won’t find these at the Box Office, but we love to search YouTube on the TV for collections of their Christmas classic skits like the NPR Schweddy Ball sketch or Eddie Murphy’s Mr Robinson’s Neighborhood Christmas edition, Justin Timberlake’s Cup of Soup and of course the “new” Christmas carol I Wish It Was Christmas Today with a very young Jimmy Fallon and Tracy Morgan.

A Bad Moms Christmas

Summary: As their own mothers drop in unexpectedly, our three under-appreciated and over-burdened moms rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for mothers: Christmas.

The Ref

Summary: A cat burglar is forced to take a bickering, dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve.

Cooper’s Camera

Summary: Using a professional grade video camera, a dysfunctional family records their Christmas Day in 1985, which descends into total chaos.

El Camino Christmas

Christmas Action Movies

Joyeaux Noel ⭐

Summary: In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other’s way of life.

Note: Another of my favorites and one that gets my in the heart every time. I cry. Every. Time. It’s got a wonderful message that we all need to hear more often than just Christmas. It might be one of the best movies of all time.

The Long Kiss Goodnight

Summary: Samantha Caine lives in a small town with her daughter. Eight years ago she emerged, two months pregnant, from a nearby river with no memory of her past or who she is. However, she’s getting closer to finding out about her past.

El Camino Christmas

Summary: Eric comes to El Camino looking for his unknown dad. He’s harassed, hit and jailed by a drunk local cop, who later shoots at a liquor mart with Eric +4 inside. The sheriff and deputy then shoot up the place, answering each other’s fire.

Home for the Holidays

Summary: After losing her job, making out with her (soon to be ex) boss, and finding out that her daughter plans to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend, the main character has to face spending the holiday with her very dysfunctional family.

Die Hard

Summary: An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.


Summary: A rowdy, unorthodox Santa Claus is fighting to save his declining business. Meanwhile, Billy, a neglected and precocious 12 year old, hires a hit man to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking.

Trading Places

Old School Adult Classics


Summary: A selfish, cynical television executive (Bill Murray) is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Love Actually

Summary: Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.


Summary: A couple search for each other years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they’d end up together.

Trading Places

Summary: A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires. Dan Aykroyd always brings the laughs.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Summary: A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with a lovable oaf of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

The Apartment

Summary: A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue.


Summary: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.

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