My Unreasonably Scathing Review of 2018’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas 

I’ll be frank. ILLUMINATION’s 2018 version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas has to be the worst rendition of Dr. Seuss’ timeless classic I’ve ever seen. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to Christmas movies, the Grinch and his plan to steal Christmas is right up there with Die Hard and Home Alone on my list of movies to watch, but this newest rendition is straight trash. 

First off, we have the cast. Think back to the original ’66 movie, and its narration. The narrator, Boris Karloff according to Wikipedia, set the tone of the entire movie with his opening lines. His gruff, aggressive accent told 6 year old me that I was in for a rough ride, and that this Grinch character truly was filled with seething hatred for Christmas. Now flip back to the 2018 version, which was narrated by none other than Pharell Williams. This dude couldn’t sound mad even if he wanted to. His light-hearted, cheery approach to the Grinch’s story puts the viewer in the completely wrong head space. Instead of thinking “Oh man, this Grinch dude is out for blood,” you’re led more along the path of “This guy just needs a big hug”. 

Bendersnick Cucumberlatch or whatever his name is (Benedict Cumberbatch) plays the voice of the Grinch himself, and I’m sorry, but his tone of voice is about 2 octaves higher than the Grinch’s should be. For a guy with a heart 3 times too small, he shouldn’t sound like he could voiceover a diaper commercial. 

Which leads me to my next point. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is supposed to be the perfect anti-Christmas movie up until the very ending. That only by the combined kindness of all of the Whos down in Whoville does the Grinch’s heart grow. In the latest rendition, it’s almost like all the Grinch needs is a little nudge to become the person he is at the end. Countless times during the movie, you’ll see the Grinch doing things that are…well…nice. He apologizes to his dog, for example, after yelling at him. He takes pity on the reindeer he hires to pull his sleigh because the reindeer has a family that misses him. 

The original Grinch would NEVER have cared for trivial things like that. They would have enraged him more because it inconvenienced his plan to ruin Christmas, and he would have been meaner because of it! Sure, there’s examples of the Grinch being a jerk, he insults his neighbour and pushes over a little kid’s snowman, but the cases where he’s kind of nice far outnumber the times he’s kind of not nice. 

The movie also re-creates the Grinch’s childhood, saying that instead of being mocked for his Christmas gift that he gives to Cindy Loo Who’s mom when they’re young, he just didn’t have a family, was put in a foster home, and then one year they forgot to do Christmas and because of that, he got salty at ALL the Christmases afterwards. Dumb. Just dumb. In the live-action version of the Grinch, he gets adopted by the sweetest lesbian couple, and that’s how it should have stayed. Because the nature of the Whos down in Whoville is to accept regardless of physical appearance or behaviour. It’s even shown in the new movie after the Grinch develops into the sourpuss he is. Even though he’s a terrible person to all of the Whos, they still treat him like one of their own, wishing him a merry Christmas and all that. Bring back the lesbian moms. 

Overall, this movie was a crowd-pleasing money grab. Did it need to be made? No. The characters, plot, and overall feel was all off. Did it give me more Tyler the Creator produced songs to listen to? Yes, he produced the entire score and it’s all amazing. 4/10 on the Rotten Cole scale, but what was I supposed to expect from the company that brought you not one but TWO whole Minion movies?