Truth be told, when it comes to movies, I’m definitely more of a Halloween fan than Christmas. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the holiday season, or even watch a festive film or two. In fact, some of my all-time favourite movies are technically Christmas movies. However, you won’t find Home Alone or It’s A Wonderful Life on this list. And personally, while they’re fun to watch, A Muppet Christmas Carol and Elf are a bit too overrated for me *suddenly overhears the souls of hundreds crushing into pieces of mince pies*. So, now I’ve narrowed that down, what are my top 5 favourite Christmas flicks?
5. Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)
In all honesty, I have only recently watched this film, and I have no idea why I never watched it before now, it’s brilliant. Starring Jim Carrey as the timeless Ebenezer Scrooge (and also as the voice of all the unique haunting spirits), it is the most faithful adaptation of the beloved tale I’ve ever seen. The animation, while not for everyone, has a charm of its own and adds edge, I love the many scenes of flight and racing along the rooftops of a snowy Victorian London. What I love is that despite being marketed as a family-friendly Disney movie, there are scenes that are actually so terrifying they stick in your mind long after watching. I’m glad that they are there, because the authenticity of the original tales remains with the message loud and clear – Happiness and family are more important than wealth and riches.
4. Krampus (2015)
Krampus is a fairly recent comedy-horror that bases it’s big bad on the Austro-Bavarian folklore of Krampus, the anti-Santa who instead of rewarding with gifts, he punishes those who have lost the Christmas spirit. A modern-day family have convened together for the holidays but all is not what it seems – none of them are getting along. This causes the family’s young son, Max, to tear up his letter to Santa, indicating he has lost his Christmas spirit. This starts a chain of terrifying events, including family members going missing, violent living gingerbread men, and killer toys that eat children (yes I’m quite literal in that is actually what occurs), all leading to a final showdown with the horned demon himself. All in all, its an absolute exciting thriller of a movie with a clear moral to the story – enjoy your Christmas holidays, or Krampus will come for you!
3. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
The Grinch is possibly the only film on my list that won’t give you nightmares anytime soon, but it is a complete Christmas classic and I quote the one-liners on an almost daily basis! The Grinch is an outsider who doesn’t understand the concept of Christmas and his loneliness has made him bitter and twisted to the point of wanting to take away the happiness of Whoville by “stealing Christmas”. As the movie progresses, we learn why the Grinch feels the way he does on the subject, and he becomes a rather relatable character as opposed to the monster everyone initially believes him to be.
2. Gremlins (1984)
I’ve grown up with the holiday delight which is Gremlins… I even have a little collection of the dastardly creatures on my bookshelf! Steven Spielberg’s Gremlins is very loosely based on the Disney Roald Dahl children’s book, but takes comedy-horror to a complete new level. When Billy’s dad gives him a new exotic pet for Christmas known as a Mogwai named Gizmo, Billy quickly forgets to follow the rules… 1. Keep it out of bright light, 2. Never get it wet, and 3. Never feed it after midnight. Upon breaking the third rule, Billy inadvertently unleashes a group of violent, mischievous Gremlins upon his neighbourhood, wrecking Christmas in the process, and it’s up to him and the adorable Gizmo to save the day. I love that this movie clearly parodies Christmas gifts going wrong, and that rules are in place for a reason. There’s a tonne of dark humour and is just very, very funny.
1. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Is it a Halloween movie? Is it a Christmas movie? Well, the answer is… it’s both! And it’s my all-time absolute favourite. The music is beautiful, the stop-motion animation is awe-inspiring, and the story is timeless. I believe it to be Tim Burton’s greatest masterpiece, and I’m a huge fan of all his works. My favourite scene is when the bored, tired Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, Jack Skellington, stumbles upon Christmas Town for the first time and is hit with a sense of childlike wonder exploring all this magical new land and it’s even more magical purpose. It reminds me so much of myself when I visit Disneyland and just have to see everything there is to see. I’ve met Jack at Disneyland Paris three times now, and every single time has been unforgettably amazing, and it’s due to those memories growing up with this movie singing along to it and meeting my favourite character in person, this film has become so special to me and there’s simply nothing else that could replace it.
What are your favourite festive movies to watch this time of year? Are they as bizarre as mine? Let me know in the comments!