Christmas Scavenger Hunt (2019) So Bad, Its Good

Every now and again, I  enjoy watching a Hallmark movie. I admit, I have high standards for these: the lead actors have to be people I know from other works, and the plot has to be decent, or else I won’t tune in. Usually 2-3 a year will look intriguing, and I’ll put them on the DVR. Sometimes I come away from them thinking it was a sweet little movie, and sometimes, I’ll come away believing that was a total waste of time. The ones that are a total waste of time do teach me something, which is: how to spot something that actually is worth watching.

In 2019, one of the network’s Christmas movies premiered called Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Starring Kevin McGarry and Kim Shaw, this one is mainly carried by the leads, as if two other random actors were in it, it would get lost in the never ending shuffle of made for TV Christmas movies.

The plot is not anything new, but the story is sweet and comforting, which is as follows: Belinda, a big city girl, comes home to her small town of Deerfield, to see her Dad. Through participating in the annual town Christmas scavenger hunt, she reunites with her old high school boyfriend, Dustin.

Kevin McGarry as Dustin, who after high school, has become the town’s right hand fix-it man and a staple in preserving the local history. Kim Shaw plays Belinda, who comes back home on a job assignment to close a sale on the Old Mill, and also to see her Dad (who lives alone since her mom died). Conflict arises when Dustin is working to save the Old Mill, while Belinda is trying to buy the mill for a work assignment that could earn her a promotion. Add in a very obvious throw away big city boyfriend on Belinda’s end- and you’ve got a very solid Hallmark-y Christmas movie.


The main component of this TV movie that makes it work is seeing Kevin McGarry be sassy. His character, Nathan on When Calls the Heart is not exactly the funniest character, and Kevin has such a wide acting range, its so awesome to see him play someone who’s daring and bold. Dustin’s quick quip: “Oh, Hey partner!“, when being paired up with Belinda in the scavenger hunt is insanely funny and cheeky. He also has the chance to throw Belinda some smirks any time she mentions something from their high school days, which is really charming. It makes me really enjoy Kevin’s acting, as he is not my favorite Hallmark leading actor (I’m sorry!). The chemistry is also evident between the two leads, a step up from most of these movies, as Kevin and Kim previously played opposite each other on an episode of the Canadian TV show Saving Hope.

There are some elements that make this movie cringe inducing. For instance, Kim sometimes just says her lines in a very baby-ish tone that makes you question why she’s saying the lines that way. Also, it’s super obvious Tom Arnold, who plays the Dad, had a cold while filming, which dates this film waayy back to 2019, in a pre-covid world. Furthermore, don’t forget this is Hallmark Channel after all so there are some weird logistical plot choices: such as calling in favors to the US Army for Christmas homecomings, or the fact the scavenger hunt winners will be determined not on speed, but by performance. That plot point puzzles me because some of the tasks are taking a selfie with Santa, or donating toys for children, how does one perform badly at something of that stature?

At the end of it all, I think what makes me re-watch this movie once a year around Christmastime, is it is comforting in the sense of coming home, and old love re-ignited for a second chance. I think its really sweet when fate gives you a second chance with someone, and its kind of like a dream scenario! Kevin and Kim play off each other impeccably well, and there’s a very familiar sense where you believe these two do know each other and want to get back together. It’s a relaxing watch and I’ll even throw in some bonus points for watching Kevin McGarry sing a few lines of “12 Days of Christmas”. Certainly one of the sweeter, worth watching Hallmark movies, however cliche it actually is!

This post is for the 5th annual So Bad, its Good Blogathon hosted by Taking up Room

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12 thoughts on “Christmas Scavenger Hunt (2019) So Bad, Its Good

  1. mercurie80

    I have to confess I am not a big fan of the Hallmark romance movies, but this one looks like it could be interesting. At the very least the scavenger hunt is something different from the plots of many of the other films! Of course, as a guy who still lives in a small town, I do wish they’d reverse the plot once in a while. Big city guy comes to small town and falls in love with small town girl.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian Schuck

    Christmas romance movies have become such a huge industry that it’s mind-numbing just trying to pick out something that might be a pleasant viewing experience. The past several holiday seasons my wife and I have talked about streaming one of these movies just for the fun of it, but so far we’ve chickened out every time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At some point they all meld together!! But I find what makes it more enjoyable is to watch one with an actor you like. A handful of CW actors and actors from TV shows you may watch pop up in them, it makes it more fun!

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  3. Nice review, Flapper Dame! While I wasn’t a fan of ‘Christmas Scavenger Hunt’, I do agree with your selectiveness toward Hallmark movies. Even though I talk about Hallmark films on my blog, I know which types of stories I like and don’t like. For me, I tend to stay away from the stories where women from the city come back to their small hometown. This is because I find these stories more predictable than others. By the way, I also participated in the So Bad It’s Good Blogathon, so I’ll share the link to my review in this comment:

    Take 3: Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter Review

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IT’S SO TRUE: All of the big city girl returns to small town home ones are basically ALL THE SAME! So I get why you avoid those! Add in Christmas to the mix- and you can predict what happens! For me its mainly the actors- My favorite hallmark movie is As Luck would have it-ALLEN LEECH! as well as Sailing into LOVE! CHRIS MCNALLY!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. To say I’m not a fan of Hallmark would be an understatement. To say I consider them to be one of Dante concentric rings of Hell would be much closer to accurate. But to each, his (or her) own. Just let me know if they ever make one where John Wayne rides into town and shoots that woman from “Full House.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hallmark movies- to each their own! As I’m learning! It’s funny how something billed as so “uniting” actually divides people, I find it hysterical! Candace Cameron Bure has left the network for the copycat network Great American Family

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Michael

    I have not seen many Hallmark Christmas movies at all but I honestly thought I had seen this one based on your description until you mentioned the scavenger hunt and Tom Arnold. They really do use a cookie cutter for some of these films, don’t they?

    One Christmas my whole family and I gathered around the television to watch a Hallmark movie. I can’t remember the title. One plot point involved a bell tower in the small town that had not rung in years because no one could find the key to activate the bell. We all greatly enjoyed it…but not for the intended reasons. We found it hysterical and laughed uproariously for two straight hours. But, whatever the reason, it made our Christmas a little more joyous. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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