Netflix Movie Review: Bad Santa

Reposted from the Spiritual Sunflower wordpress blog, originally posted on November 20th, 2018


In case you couldn’t tell by the post title, I’m getting a little excited for the holidays! I’d like to share a little story I wrote for my school’s newspaper. I was selected to pick a Christmas movie on Netflix and reflect on its plot and characters.

A little side note though, I can’t believe it’s about to be Thanksgiving. This whole semester has really flew by and realizing how many things I want to accomplish in the next few weeks is so overwhelming, especially Christmas shopping.

Remember to take a few moments to yourself every day when life gets crazy like around the holidays. Even though it’s a time filled with friends and family and love, it’s easy to lose sight of yourself and what’s truly important to you in the holiday storm.

My self care routine is the most significant thing I do for myself daily. It helps to reset my mind and body every morning and get on track for the day!

And now for “Bad Santa!”

Holiday Movie Review: Bad Santa

In “Bad Santa,” a fake Santa Claus and his partner reunite to rip off malls on Christmas Eve.

This dark Netflix comedy features Billy Bob Thorton as Wille (Santa) and Tony Cox as his partner in crime. Things get tricky this year when Willie’s drinking and impulsive behavior gets out of hand, drawing the attention of mall security.

The scheme starts to fall apart when Willie performs sexual acts in inappropriate places and his boss makes a plan to fire him. He also yells regularly at mothers and their children, disturbing other patrons in the mall.

Then a suspected cop shows up at his hotel room, pushing Willie to move in with his new friend, Thurman Merman, played by Brett Edward Kelly. Thurman begins to look up to Willie during the film, and influences Santa’s behavior into getting his stuff together again.

The reckless behavior that leads to unfortunate events in “Bad Santa” is the most entertaining aspect. Like when Willie cuts his hand, Thurman attempts to rinse it off and clean it with alcohol but instead sends Willie running and spreading blood all over the house again.

The film corrupts society’s typical image of Santa being a jolly, kind soul. Willie is manipulative, impulsive, disruptive and even steals from others instead of giving. He almost seems more like an evil grandfather of Christmas, not at all what we think of when we think about Santa.

In the end, Santa remains just as much of a piece of crap as he is the beginning, with a bit more love in his heart. He celebrates the holiday with Thurman and his new lady friend, participating in the holiday tradition.

This spin on the normal idea of Santa makes a funny, entertaining film. While there’s a lot of profanity, sexual jokes and acts, and insults throughout, it appeals to people who enjoy dirty humor or may just like to make fun of the holidays. It’s definitely appropriate for this movie to be R-rated.

The film does a good job at incorporating funny, unique insults that would make the audience laugh and hold attention. It shows that even though some people can be difficult to love or understand, there’s a home and a family for everyone on Christmas.

Overall, this movie was likely a success for Director Terry Zwigoff. The average rating on Rotten Tomatoes was a 6.7/10, and with how many spins on Santa Claus that are out there that’s a pretty good place to be.

Thank you all for reading! Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

Love & light,


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