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Weird holidays: The best Christmas sci-fi movies

Look no further if you seek movie picks that are a bit "out there" this Christmas.

Prometheus Christmas celebration
Image credit: 20th Century Studios

We don't know about you, but we personally like our Christmas a bit weird from time to time. We've already made some horror recommendations for the upcoming holidays with the greatest Christmas horror movies, but what if we looked beyond and found the Christmas spirit in the most unexpected of places?

There's a bit of action in these too, but they're still different from the top 5 Christmas action movies. Also, you can find plenty of laughs here, but they're strange enough to fall inside the realm of science fiction. Curious? Read on below...

5. Ghostbusters 2

Ghostbusters 2 team
Image credit: Columbia Pictures

Okay, maybe Ghostbusters 2 (1989) isn't the best sequel around, but we think it's perfectly watchable and a charming enough Christmas movie for the whole family. While the actual holidays don't factor that much into the plot, the story is set during the days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, with the latter becoming important as otherworldly chaos threatens New York City once more.

Ghostbusters 2 is available to rent and buy on Prime Video.

4. Prometheus

Prometheus (2012)
Image credit: 20th Century Studios

You might think Prometheus (2012) is a horror pick, and you're absolutely right, but first and foremost, it takes us to outer space in the far future and explicitly happens during Christmas. Furthermore, many of the (horrific) events, religious imagery, and themes link it to the birth of Jesus and the Immaculate Conception. Needless to say, this isn't one you should watch with kids nor weak-stomached friends or relatives.

Prometheus is available to stream on Netflix.

3. Shazam!

Shazam! family
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Of course, the superhero genre has tackled Christmas as well, but movies like Batman Returns don't qualify as sci-fi. Shazam! (2019), on the other hand, is very much a fantasy flick with sci-fi elements, starting with its main villain, Doctor Sivana. There's also some playfulness with the stranger side of the DC lore surrounding the Wizard and some mysterious doors. And yes, it all takes places during the winter holiday season and embraces themes like found family and kindness.

Shazam! is available to stream on Max.

2. Iron Man 3

Tony Stark in Iron Man 3
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios' Iron Man 3 (2013) is the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first foray into the Christmas season, and it couldn't have happened any other way the moment they chose Shane Black to direct the threequel, as the filmmaker has always had a soft spot for the winter holiday season. Tony Stark barely enjoys Christmas in this one, but the holiday spirit and decorations are all there.

Iron Man 3 is available to stream on Disney+.

1. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Image credit: Marvel Studios

We honestly couldn't think of a better way to wrap up this brief list than James Gunn's The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, a medium-sized treat we got last year ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023). It runs for 44 minutes, so it's not really a movie, but it packs nearly as much fun, character development, and laughs as a full-length Guardians installment. Moreover, it's a canon chapter of the team's story and even includes a couple of huge moments for some of its members.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available to stream exclusively on Disney+.

'Tis the season to watch and read holiday stories. Here's our recommendations for timely favorites ranging from Christmas horror, Christmas action, Christmas comedy, and Christmas anime, Christmas sci-fi, and even five weird Christmas specials from comics. And if that's not enough, wait until you learn about Netflix's Christmas movies cinematic universe.

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