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New Holiday Movies

By: Kiersten Sipe

As the holiday season officially kicks off, so does the search for new holiday films. New holiday movies released in 2023 include The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday, Best. Christmas. Ever!, Candy Cane Lane, A Christmas Frequency, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever, Dashing Through the Snow, EXmas, Family Switch, Genie, The Holdovers, How the Gringo Stole Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Knife, The Naughty Nine, and Silent Night.


The Bad Guys: A Very Bad Holiday, a 25-minute prequel special in the Bad Guys franchise, is one of the new Christmas movies premiering in 2023. For fans of the graphic novels as well as the 2022 movie, get excited to be transported back into the world of Bad Guys—this time before the gang decided to make the title ironic and be good guys instead. Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, Mr. Shark, Mr. Wolf, and Ms. Tarantula plan some of their classic break-ins for Christmas Day, but when the holiday is threatened, they just might end up saving it instead.


Heather Graham and Brandy Norwood star in Best. Christmas. Ever! as Charlotte and Jackie. Hitting number 3 on the streaming charts, this Christmas flick is about two old college friends who still send each other letters. However, Jackie’s life seems perfect to Charlotte, and when she gets jealous, Charlotte seizes spending the holiday at Jackie’s as an opportunity to reveal that her life isn’t all that it seems.


Eddie Murphy plays a dad obsessed with winning a neighborhood contest for the best-decorated house. In order to ensure his victory, he signs a contract with an elf that sells away his life, who then comes back with the power of the 12 days of Christmas in tow to keep him to his word. Murphy is joined by Tracee Ellis Ross of Black-ish as his wife, Genneya Walton of Project MC2 as his eldest daughter, Thaddeus J. Mixson as his son, Madison Thomas as his youngest daughter, and Jillian Bell as Pepper the Elf in this film.


A new romance, A Christmas Frequency, stars Denise Richards as Brooke and Ansley Gordon as Kenzie. Kenzie is Brooke’s assistant on a radio show, and when Brooke’s marriage falls apart, Kenzie sets her up on blind dates on the show in order to help the show’s ratings. But of course, there’s a love triangle, just as tried and true cheesy holiday romance movies go, and Brooke falls for a guy Kenzie had a crush on.


Yet another addition to the seemingly never-ending Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise (I mean, seriously, someone check on Jeff Kinney), Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever tells the story of Greg Heffley and his struggles with enduring cabin fever, as the name implies, when his family gets snowed in over vacation.


The Disney+ original, Dashing Through the Snow, stars Chris Bridges and Lil Rel Howery in the tale of a Christmas-despising father and his holiday-adoring daughter together on Christmas when a man falls through their chimney, raving about people coming after his Naughty and Nice lists.


Leighton Meester and Robbie Amell play ex-fiances in the Freevee original EXmas, where Meester’s character, Ali, misses hanging out with Amell’s character, Graham’s, family. Ali decides to hang out with his family this Christmas, as Graham is out of the picture, but of course, as is to be expected, Graham shows up, and the two partake in a test of wills to see who will stay and who will leave.


Jennifer Garner, Ed Helms, Emma Myers, and Brady Noon star in Family Switch, a classic body-swapping comedy taking place just before Christmas, where everyone switches bodies through magic right before all their big plans.


Genie, the Peacock original starring Melissa McCarthy, gives Elf vibes as a man calls upon McCarthy, a Genie, to help him get his life back on track, who instead entertains the audience with her struggles to fit into the real world. Genie was directed by the director of Love, Actually himself, Richard Curtis. 


The Holdovers follows a prickly boarding school teacher who is forced to watch over the teenagers staying at school for Christmas break and their struggle to find any holiday cheer together at all.


George Lopez stars in How the Gringo Stole Christmas as a father who is shocked when his daughter brings her white boyfriend home for Christmas. In the classic style of meet-the-parents, Lopez brings another comedy into the ring for 2023 holiday movies.


An interesting genre addition to the Christmas movie set, It’s a Wonderful Knife takes the bold approach of parodying the classic and beloved It’s a Wonderful Life with a horror twist. The year before Christmas, when the film takes place, the lead kills a serial killer but discovers that now everyone but her has moved on. When she struggles with the thought of how life would have been had she never been born, she is transported to another reality where she wasn’t, and the same killer she defeated is on the loose.

Finally, on a very different note, the Disney Channel original, The Naughty Nine, tells the story of (you guessed it) nine kids who plan a heist to get presents from Santa, played by Danny Glover, after he doesn’t deliver them any, a plotline that is predictable but about what you’d expect from Disney Channel.

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