6. The Clauses – Fred Claus
Fred Claus might be far from a Christmas classic, but it’s a film that imagines what life would be like growing up in the shadow of Santa Claus himself.
With Vince Vaughn in the title role as Santa’s miserable older brother, Fred Claus begins with a young Fred being practically tortured by his parents’ blatant favoritism towards his younger brother. Feeling so distraught by being constantly put in second place (through no fault of his own), young Fred climbs a tree, only to have it cut down by his little brother Nick. This still isn’t enough to make the Claus parents see that Fred might need a little extra attention, and he grows to hate Christmas and resent his brother as a result.
Fred Claus is hardly an intelligent film, and maybe we’re giving it too much credit here, but honestly, Fred grows up bitter as a result of years of emotional trauma – making the Claus family seem pretty dysfunctional, indeed.