In the spirit of giving, what’s better than the present of free Christmas movies? There’s no need to spend any money to watch these holiday favorites. Here are 10 of the best free Christmas movies you can stream right now.
Surely the only Christmas zombie movie musical ever made, Anna and the Apocalypse is remarkably adept at balancing those disparate elements. It’s a scary zombie movie, a feel-good celebration of holiday camaraderie, and a Broadway-worthy musical full of catchy songs. As Anna (Ella Hunt) and her peers face the end of high school with various concerns, an undead apocalypse is unleashed in their small town, disrupting the annual Christmas stage production.
Even as the violence escalates, director John McPhail keeps the musical numbers coming, finding heartwarming moments amid the carnage.
Home Alone is a Christmas classic, but what if it was more twisted and sadistic? That’s what director Chris Peckover explores in Christmas thriller Better Watch Out, with a kid protagonist who stages a home invasion so he can get some alone time with his babysitter.
Star Levi Miller perfectly embodies the young sociopath, who manipulates the holiday season’s spirit of generosity for his own sick ends. Slapstick-style violence turns deadly as the main character goes to increasingly unhinged lengths to fulfill his demented vision of a romantic holiday evening.
Better Watch Out is streaming for free with ads on Crackle, Dark Matter TV, Freevee, Peacock, Plex, Pluto TV, Redbox, The Roku Channel, Tubi, and Vudu, and for free via local libraries on Hoopla and Kanopy.
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Before directing beloved family classic A Christmas Story, filmmaker Bob Clark made a very different kind of holiday movie with Black Christmas. The 1974 movie is a precursor to the slasher genre, following a group of sorority sisters who are picked off by a mysterious killer over their winter break.
Clark creates a tense atmosphere in which the stranger who makes disturbing calls to the sorority house is just one of the serious problems that these young women deal with. The unsettling tone continues through the disturbingly ambiguous ending, keeping the characters and the audience on edge until next Christmas.
For a movie about a killer Santa Claus, Christmas Evil is surprisingly gritty and psychologically complex. Brandon Maggart plays a troubled man whose mental anguish dates back to a traumatic experience at Christmastime, which has left him obsessed with the holiday.
Before he dons a Santa suit to go on a killing spree, he tries desperately to convince people to celebrate Christmas in the proper way, and his eventual murderous rampage is akin to a cry for help. The combination of aggressive yuletide cheer and pathological fixation makes this one of the most effective holiday horror movies.
If you have a love-hate relationship with Hallmark Christmas movies, then A Christmas Movie Christmas is perfect for you. It’s a gentle parody of those holiday romances that also functions as an earnest example of the genre. A pair of sisters, one who loves Christmas movies and one who can’t stand them, find themselves magically trapped in a Hallmark-style cinematic world.
The filmmakers mock the cheesy conventions of these predictable movies, while still pairing off both main characters with hunky love interests. It’s silly without being snarky, and even Hallmark haters might get wrapped up in it.
Set in a Pennsylvania Rust Belt town in the early 1980s, Feast of the Seven Fishes finds universal truths by focusing on specific details. The title refers to a Christmas Eve tradition among Italian-American families of cooking seven different types of seafood, which the working-class Tony (Skyler Gisondo) invites the decidedly non-Italian Beth (Madison Iseman) to experience with him.
There’s a sweet across-the-tracks love story, along with dual coming-of-age narratives and plenty of loud family bonding, which is relatable regardless of what you eat on Christmas Eve.
It turns out that mumblecore, an indie film genre known for highlighting the awkwardness of human interactions, is perfect for stories set during the holidays. Happy Christmas features familiar Christmas-movie elements of family members coming together and working out their differences, with Anna Kendrick as aimless slacker Jenny, who moves in with her brother (director Joe Swanberg) and his wife (Melanie Lynskey) just before Christmas.
The ramshackle movie is more about vibes than plot, but it builds an understated arc for Jenny, who becomes slightly less of a screw-up as Christmas arrives.
Although it was a failure on its initial release in 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life became a Christmas classic thanks to decades of airing on TV when its copyright accidentally lapsed. It’s still a perennial favorite, with its story of a desperate man who learns to truly appreciate all he has in life.
James Stewart plays small-town banker George Bailey, who’s on the verge of suicide on Christmas Eve when an angel shows him what the world would look like without him in it. It’s a dark premise that director Frank Capra uses to deliver an uplifting message of hope during the toughest times.
The Oscar-nominated French movie Joyeux Noel connects Christmas with a powerful anti-war message, via a fictionalized take on the so-called “Christmas truce” of 1914 during World War I. German, French, and British soldiers voluntarily lay down their arms to celebrate Christmas together, only to be forced to return to combat afterward.
Writer-director Christian Carion depicts the goodwill between ostensible enemies as well as the deadly aftermath, highlighting the brutality of warfare in contrast to the peace and tranquility of Christmas.
Joyeux Noel is streaming for free with ads on Tubi.
There are seemingly endless adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but 1951’s Scrooge, staring Alastair Sim as the title character, may be the best. It’s also one of the most faithful, telling Dickens’ now-familiar story of a cruel miser who sees the error of his ways after being visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.
Sim brings genuine pathos and anguish to his portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge, so that he seems truly reprehensible at the beginning, and is changed in a meaningful way by the end. Director Brian Desmond Hurst approaches the source material seriously, bringing out its stark humanity.
Scrooge is streaming for free with ads on Plex.