The Christmas season is upon us !!!!
With many of us experiencing a lot more free time this holiday season with travel and work restrictions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic – this is the perfect time to curl up on the sofa and watch a movie.
However choosing a ‘Christmas movie’ is always a difficult decision especially if you don’t want the traditional choices such as It’s a Wonderful Life or Elf.
Here at IndieMacUser we have chosen our top 10 alternative Christmas films.
- Die Hard
Hoping to spend Christmas with his estranged wife, detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) arrives in LA. However, he learns about a hostage situation in an office building and his wife (Bonnie Bedelia) is one of the hostages.
It has long been a subject of debate whether this classic thriller can be considered a true ‘christmas’ movie or not. However according to the film’s writer Steven E de Souza Die Hard takes place entirely in the Christmas holidays (while only the first and final scenes of White Christmas, for example are set during the holiday season. The entirety of Die Hard is also at a Christmas party, while only the end of its 1950s counterpart is).
- Black Christmas (1974)
As winter break begins, a group of sorority sisters, including Jess (Olivia Hussey) and the often inebriated Barb (Margot Kidder), begin to receive anonymous, lascivious phone calls. Initially, Barb eggs the caller on, but stops when he responds threateningly. Soon, Barb’s friend Claire (Lynne Griffin) goes missing from the sorority house, and a local adolescent girl is murdered, leading the girls to suspect a serial killer is on the loose. But no one realises just how near the culprit is. This seasonal slasher is possibly the earliest Christmas themed horror and also an early slasher that inspired John Carpenter‘s genre defining ‘Halloween’.
- Batman Returns
Tim Burton‘s seminal ‘Batman’ sequel sees Max (Christopher Walken), an entrepreneur, and the criminal Penguin (Danny Devito) team up to wreak havoc in Gotham City, Batman (Michael Keaton) decides to stop them. Catwoman’s alter ego, Selina Kyle (Michell Pfeiffer), seeks revenge on Max for trying to kill her.
Whilst most Christmas movies follow a basic feel-good formula about personal growth or gratitude, Batman Returns uses the trappings and wrappings of the season to subvert our expectations of what to expect from a holiday classic.
- Mean Girls
Mean Girls, released in 2004, sees Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) attempt to navigate her way through high school after 12 years of being homeschooled.
Cady starts off as a bit of a misfit and is convinced by two new mates to plan an act of revenge against Regina, for a past slight, by pretending to befriend the popular girls, The Plastics. And guess what? Christmas happens somewhere during this messy academic year.
This Joe Dante/Chris Columbus Amblin classic Billy’s father gets him a pet from China with three very specific instructions. However, when Billy (Zach Galligan) does not follow them, it unleashes a horde of monsters.Gremlins is certainly set around the Christmas season and the sequence featuring Billy’s mother (Frances Lee McCain) set to the classic ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’ will certainly have you in the festive spirit….
- Edward Scissorhands
In this Tim Burton classic; Edward (Johnny Depp), a synthetic man with scissor hands, is taken in by Peg, a kindly Avon lady, after the passing of his inventor. Things take a turn for the worse when he is blamed for a crime he did not commit.
Through the moving story, brilliant score, and staggering visuals only Tim Burton could devise, Edward Scissorhands serves as a beacon of light to the outcasts around the holidays.
- In Bruges
In this darkest of ‘dark comedies’ from writer/director Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri); Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson), two hitmen, get stuck in Bruges, Belgium, after an unsuccessful mission. The situation becomes complicated when their boss asks Ken to kill Ray.
Admittedly, only tangentially Christmassy. But like The Pogues’ debauched hymn “Fairytale of New York” — dwelling as it does in broken dreams, despair and a Christmas Eve binge that culminates in a visit to the drunk tank — it’s become essential Yuletide viewing.
- Silent Night Deadly Night
In 1984, Tri-Star pictures flipped the script on Santa by creating Silent Night, Deadly Night; turning the iconic man of Christmas into a killer and would birth a slew of numerous evil/killer Santa films that are still going strong nearly four decades later.Check out our retrospective piece ‘God Rest Ye Deadly Gentlemen’ the Silent Night, Deadly Night films ranked
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
It’s the third Tim Burton entry on our list! Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas sees Jack Skellington, a being from Halloween Town, finds Christmas Town and is instantly enchanted. The situation becomes riveting when his obsession with Christmas leads him to abduct Santa Claus.
Burton’s concept for this ambitious yet oddball stop motion epic was initially panned and Disney were not sure what to do with it but it has become a holiday favourite that is still celebrated at Disney Parks worldwide yearly for both Christmas & Halloween.
From the mind of Michael Dougherty (Trick or Treat) the film follows follows the story of Max, a young boy frustrated by the constant quarrel between the members of his dysfunctional family, he loses his Christmas spirit, awakening folklore charecter Krampus, a demon who will punish his entire family.
Tell us what YOUR favourite Christmas movie is in the comment section !
Merry Christmas from IndieMacUser