Grinch-mas Grinch-list

Despite the release of The Mean One, Jim Carrey’s Grinch still takes the cake.


Horror movies have always been a part of the holiday season. On Dec. 15,  Santa brought us a live-action Grinch horror movie titled The Mean One. The premise may be fun, but the film titled How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring actor Jim Carrey is still the best out of all of the Grinch Movies. 

Compared to the new film, How the Grinch Stole Christmas was released 22 years earlier, and is a whole 12 minutes longer than The Mean One. It carries the same plot as the Dr. Seuss book that it was based on, and is a nice tale about an evil green mountain Grinch having a change of heart. The 2000 version was directed by the famous actor and director Ron Howard. It was extremely successful and grossed $345 million worldwide, as well as becoming the second most successful holiday movie at the time of its release. These two films don’t share any of the same cast and crew which is why the Grinch is now referred to as a Christmas evil in the new film due to the Grinch still being a copyrighted character.

The Mean One, directed by Steven Lamorte, is meant to be a slasher film, taking on the increasingly common trope of a tragedy in a small town, a great evil, and a personally-affected hero returning to end it once and for all. The hero this time around is supposed to be Cindy, whose parents were murdered 20 years ago, coming back to “New-Ville” (instead of Who-Ville) to fight the newly named “Christmas evil”.

Evident by the trailer, The Mean One is not taking itself seriously. It comes across as a parody, like something you would see on one of ScreenRant’s “pitch meeting” videos. It’s still an interesting concept. However, even with the release of this new grinch movie, the live-action version, How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey, is still the best. Obviously, I can’t decide the quality of The Mean One because I haven’t seen it yet, but I do know that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is the best film out of all of the Grinch movies. 

The Jim Carrey version of the Grinch is the right mix of heartwarming holiday themes such as change of heart, comedy, a little bit of tension and struggle, and awesome design. Also, nostalgia! For the holiday season, this version is ultimately the best to gather around and watch.

I remember watching this film since I was little, and being terrified of the opening sequence where little Cindy Lou gets wrapped up by the “mean” and “evil” Grinch. Now, it’s one of my favorite parts of the film. It’s fun, still makes me a little bit on edge, and is a great way to start the movie. In my opinion, from start to finish everything about this movie is great. The backstory for the grinch, the moments where the plot focuses on other characters, the opening sequence as I mentioned, especially the grinch’s solo scenes. 

The Grinch as a character may be painted as this despicable evil green thing, but he still finds a way to be loveable from the start. He’s very human, and clearly has boundaries, which makes him redeemable and makes it easier to root for him to be better. Some people could even go as far to relate it to that one mean uncle that’s not the best person, but he still gets the best Christmas gifts. This character that the Grinch has is diminished in the very premise of the new film; The Grinch never was a murderer, which is why the new slasher film loses some of his personality by making him a murderer. As much as it The Mean One is a joke, in order for it to be a good Grinch movie it needs to keep The Grinch’s character intact.

Making the Grinch a murderer isn’t that big of a deal, right? Wrong. Like I said, his humanity is a key part of him. The reason why it’s so important for his character is because it’s the basis for his story. The Grinch’s story is being told because of his change of heart, which only happened because there was already a heart there in the first place. The Grinch is not fully The Grinch without his storyline. 

Despite my criticisms, I’m super excited to watch The Mean One as soon as it comes out. The premise is funny, and it’s clearly meant to mock modern horror movie tropes that are present in many of the remakes of popular franchises. 

Even though I’m excited for the movie, Jim Carrey’s Grinch movie will still always be at the top of my list. It also tops the other Grinch movies. While it shares the plot with the other movies, which I like, none of them can compare to the How the Grinch Stole Christmas from the year 2000 (the Jim Carrey one). 

I was hoping not to have to mention the animated 2018 Grinch, which is starring Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s a good actor and best known for his role as Doctor Strange in Marvel films, but to cover all the bases I have to. The newer animation style does not work for The Grinch. Also, why is he smooth? He’s supposed to have unwashed, messed-up fur! Because it’s essential to his design!! The 2018 film is at the bottom of my Grinch list, almost comparable to The Emoji Movie. 

Design is something that’s very important with his character, and neither of the newer films do it well. In the slasher, his face looks like someone dressed up for a costume party, how the makeup looks painted on and too contrasted in some places. In the 2018 version, it’s the opposite. I do actually like the other animated version’s style, but the live action’s design feels the most right for the character.

The other animated versions, such as the one from 1966 by almost the same title follow the Dr Seuss book. I have watched all the versions of the Grinch, and I think the animated style of the 1966 version is charming and wins it second place on the Grinch List, but I think bringing the grinch to life was a good choice. 

The Jim Carrey Grinch film is also a remake. In modern times, remakes aren’t always the best, but I think the remake takes the original premise and makes it better. The additions it makes such as a better look into the Grinch’s past, and the small moments of Grinch’s sympathy towards other characters makes it a needed expansion. 

Plus, I think the version from 2000 brings about a nostalgia that the other movies can’t capture. It’s still the same movie, whether I watched it when I was 7, or now. Not many movies can do that. It’s still as funny as it was before, and I think it has a nice distinct character to it. The 1966 version just can’t do that, which is why I think that the 2000 version ultimately takes the cake on how it makes you feel. The live-action medium works well, the nostalgia that none of the other films have, and the acting just makes it so much better. I don’t think it’s nostalgia alone, either. The film has a great style which is why it holds up. The cinematography with the snappy camera and close up to the grinches face, along with how the grinch stomps and waves his arms around, as well as the acting from the other characters is what makes it a true improvement, and what makes live-action a better medium for the tale. All of these elements come together to make an amazing film that will continue to be the best of its kind.