Category: Features

Bad Christmas Movie Challenge Jack Frost

Not to be confused with the sleazy horror movie of the same name, this supposedly ‘family friendly’ Jack Frost is so hauntingly bad it might give the youngsters nightmares. It shit me right up and I’m a man in his 30s.

If you were hoping for something as heartfelt as The Snowman (not to be confused with the Michael Fassbender led murder movie of the same name), or a magical as Disney’s Frozen (not to be confused with the 2010 survival thriller of the same name), then prepare for disappointment.

Michael Keaton stars as a singer named Jack Frost who spends more time on the road touring than he does with his family. Jack might look like Batman’s alter ego on a gap-year, but he sucks at being a father and husband. However, all that changes when Jack is killed in a car accident, and a year later he comes back to life as a snowman… to go on a murderous rampage leaving a bloody trail of carnage in his wake. Wait, sorry, I’m getting confused with the horror movie Jack Frost.

Once the newly snowmaned Jack manages to convince his son Charlie that it really is him, the two begin to bond. The bonus Christmas speeds by, and the weather starts to get warmer, and Charlie faces losing his dad all over again. Destiny takes an unexpected turn when a truck containing antifreeze crashes into the house, and Jack melts into a freakish puddle. Nope, sorry, I’m getting confused with the other Jack Frost film, won’t happen again.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (what no extended Blu-ray cut in 3D?), Jack Frost hasn’t aged well. Even by 1998 standards of CGI, this looks like a TV movie. Only Mark Addy, who was known as The Full Monty’s Mark Addy back then, walks away with any dignity as this was his first Hollywood production. Off the back of Jack Frost, Addy didn’t work on a Hollywood movie for two years, but it was worth the wait as he went on to secure the lead role in the blockbuster The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. Only kidding, it wasn’t a blockbuster it lost money. Was it the curse of Jack Frost?

There’s no scientific way to prove it, but I feel at least 83% less Christmassy after watching this film. Keaton can do comedy, he can do drama, he can be the hero or the villain, he can even give Walter White a run for his money wearing the heck out a pair a Y-fronts. Michael Keaton is versatile like a Bird’s Eye potato waffle, but he can’t do a kids film. At least not on-screen, he voiced the crap out of Ken in Toy Story 3.

At its heart, Jack Frost means well and is about as inoffensive as The Great British Bake Off. I’m sure this is a firm favourite with many families, but I still find it overly sentimental, miscast, and home to some pretty shoddy special effects that give off a nightmarish vibe. That bit where the school bully got decapitated by a sledge was laughable, no, that’s the other Jack Frost again. I knew it was a bad idea to watch both Jack Frost films on two different screens at the same time.

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