A Quirky New Christmas Movie Has Knocked The Killer Out Of Netflix's Top Spot  

Try as we might, we withered gothic souls can only hold the line and extend October's scary vibes into November for so long. But with so few viewing options specific to the month (although horror fans now have a bountiful feast to indulge in around Turkey Day thanks to Eli Roth's satisfyingly sleazy slasher "Thanksgiving"), many people tend to spend this time of year diving head-first into Christmas entertainment. The streaming services of the world have sat up and taken notice, too, as evidenced by the endless ads for "Dashing Through the Snow" on Disney+ that popped up on my Roku menu over the past week.

However, it's another quirky Yuletide comedy that's making waves on streaming at the moment. Titled "Best. Christmas. Ever!" (yes, this is a "Mamma Mia!" type situation where the exclamation mark is part of the official title), the Netflix exclusive rolled out globally on November 16, 2023. According to Netflix viewership aggregator FlixPatrol, the film quickly shot to #1 on the streamer on its first day of release in the U.S., knocking out David Fincher's decidedly un-festive hitman flick "The Killer" from the top spot. It only continued to hold that position through to Monday and should perform equally well this week as families search for something appropriate to watch together over the Thanksgiving frame. (Most families, anyway; personally, mine is more likely to stream "The Killer" 'cause that's just how we roll.)

Deck the halls with boughs of envy

You can't make a Tomelette without breaking some Greggs, and you can't make a Christmas film without some life lessons. In the case of "Best. Christmas. Ever!" lead Charlotte Sanders (Heather Graham), she finds herself turning green as a Grinch with envy over her old college pal Jackie Jennings (Brandy), who annually sends out a winter holiday newsletter detailing her almost sickeningly perfect life. When a misunderstanding results in Charlotte, her husband Rob (Jason Biggs), and their children getting stuck at the Jennings' luxurious house right before Christmas, Charlotte sets out to prove Jackie's been lying about her so-called wonderful life (pun absolutely intended), only to realize real happiness doesn't come easily to anybody. Sounds harmless enough, so far as heavy-handed messages go.

"Best. Christmas. Ever!" hails from horror filmmaking legend Mary Lambert, the director of the 1989 "Pet Sematary" movie adaptation and its sequel, as well as "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary" and the "Collection Completed" episode of "Tales from the Crypt." Bear in mind, her transition from helming Stephen King movies and other adult genre fare to squeaky-clean winter holiday offerings for Netflix (starting with 2021's "A Castle for Christmas") wasn't quite as abrupt as you might think, what with Lambert having directed the Disney Channel Original film "Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge" as far back as 2001. If nothing else, you have to give Lambert credit: "Best. Christmas Ever!" features a gag involving a hot air balloon wreaking havoc on a festively decorated home, which is certainly a new one for this type of zany feel-good holiday cheerfest.

Read More