It’s that time of year. That time when your kids desperately want to watch all their favourite Christmas movies. Over and over and over again. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. You’re forced to sit through the Santa Clause 1, 2 AND 3 numerous times (shudder), countless viewings of Elf (isn’t it great how your child just runs through the house for days after yelling at the top of their lungs OH MY GOD I LOVE CHRISTMAS!), and if you’re REALLY lucky you might get to see Jingle All The Way (in which Arnold Schwarzenegger shows us the true meaning of Christmas by Terminator punching his way through department stores in order to get his son a doll he really wanted, because for months beforehand he was a terrible father. Yeah, as if the wife wouldn’t have been nagging him every day to remember to buy the doll, or save them all the trouble and just buy it herself. And what about that ending! “Oh no Dad, I don’t need the doll now, not that I have you.” Are you serious! After all he went through! You’re taking that doll kid, and you’re going to love it!). After days filled with such “Christmas Cheer” the last thing you want to do is sit down and watch a Christmas movie for yourself. But as an adult you crave your own little piece of Christmas pie. So what movies are fun and appropriate for adults to enjoy without the little ankle bitters around?
Luckily our friends at Universal Pictures have made a movie with the Jingle All the Wayed Out parents in mind. I give you Krampus, an hilarious Christmas romp about a family that have lost their Christmas spirit, so the old European folk lore Anti-Santa devil Krampus has come to take them away to his lair in hell. The movie, starring our very own Toni Collette and Melissa George, centres on young Max, whose family are basically a bunch of big assholes to him. Especially his older cousins who torment and bully him through the day calling his desires to continue holding their old family Christmas traditions “Gay” and “Stop being a baby, baby”. Max decides to rip up his letter to Santa as clearly the old fat man has failed him for the last time. Cue Krampus and his delightful demonic cronies coming in to torment and then eat his whole family one by one. We find out later from Max’s grandmother that she too once accidentally summoned Krampus when she was a little girl, as she lost her Christmas spirit because her family were poverty stricken in war torn Hungary. She was the only one left alive as the rest of the people in her poor and starving village were dragged to hell….hang on, so Krampus rather than punishing the people who caused the misery in the first place is only summoned by those who lose their Christmas spirit thanks to the horrible circumstances they’re placed in? That is either the worst storyline I’ve ever heard, or just a great big metaphor for life at the moment. In any case, this is a horror movie not to be missed. You can watch the awesome preview below. Gruss vom Krampus!
However if horror just isn’t your thing at Christmas, and you don’t want to resort to Love Actually because you’re too scared to get into which side of the argument you sit on (you know, about whether this is a good movie or not. Usually the two sides are Best Rom/Com Of All Time versus It’s just a misogynistic dick fest disguised as lady porn), then here are my top 5 picks for movie viewing this holiday season.
1. Die Hard.
Who doesn’t love Alan Rickman speaking with a bad German accent, being thrown off a tower by Bruce Willis yelling “Yippee ki yay mother fu-, ahem, lover!” This movie has everything you want in a Christmas film. Explosions, gun fights, running through broken glass in bare feet, O’Brien from Star Trek crashing a plane full of people (better stick to the transporter next time Chief!). Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you can’t get your action film fix as well. This is a must watch for the holiday season (or any time of year for that matter).
2. Home Alone 1 and 2.
Because nothing says Christmas like getting hit in the face repeatedly with a brick. Seriously, in the second film when Kevin McCallister keeps throwing those bricks off the building and Marv keeps getting hit in the head, oh I laughed and laughed. And laughed and laughed and laughed. Boy how I laughed!…Anyway, if you ever dream about “accidentally” forgetting your children, and leaving them at home while you go off to have your own “me” time holiday, then maybe just get those feelings out of your system by watching these two glorious movies. Gratuitous Warner Brothers-esque violence where no one actually gets hurt is the best kind of violence.
Oh and if anyone was wondering exactly what happened to little Kevin when he grew up, well this video solves that little mystery:
3. Gremlins 1 and 2.
Did the instruction about never feeding them after Midnight ever confuse anyone else? Until what time do you mean? Because technically all day is after midnight. Do you mean between the hours of Midnight and sunrise? That would be a more useful piece of advice. And you wonder why everything went to crap. Twice! And really, didn’t we all secretly want a mogwai when we were growing up. Except WE’D take much better care of it and follow all the rules. OUR mogwai’s would defintely NOT produce gremlins, becaues we’d be so much more responsible then all those other mogwai owners out there…wait, why does this sound so familiar. Anyway, two great films. And let’s be honest, don’t we just watch them to feel better about ourselves. No one can possibly have a worse Christmas than Kate growing up. Plus the second film has a cameo of Hulk Hogan! Who doesn’t love Hulk Hogan? I’m telling you this brother, if you don’t go out and see these films right now, then Hulkamania is gonna run wild on you!
4. The Muppets Christmas Carol.
What’s this! I hear you say. A childrens’ movie! But this is a list for adults! Well I’m going to stop you right there. If like me, you were born in the 80’s then you grew up living on the Muppets. This is no more just a kids film than The Force Awakens is just another movie. Muppets Christmas Carol is one of my most favourite movies of all time. They get everything right in this. There’s just the right amount of silly Muppet humour to make this enjoyable while still sticking quite faithfully to the original text (singing vegetables anyone). And speaking of the text, how great is that ending when Gonzo encourages the audience to read the book. HE TELLS YOU TO GO READ THE BOOK! Name one other film based on a book that actually tells the audience to go read the source material after the fact. This is why the Muppets are the greatest. And if you’re not sobbing your heart out after Belle’s song “The Love is Gone”, then I’m sorry but you’re dead inside. Whether you watch it by yourself, or actually with your kids (and really, if you love the Muppets, but your kids don’t then I’m afraid you’re not doing parenting right) this is an 85 minute masterpiece that brings joy to even the coldest of hearts.
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas.
It’s a musical. It’s stop animation. There’s a love story. And it’s about Halloween gouls stealing Christmas for themselves. Yet another Tim Burton cult classic. And he does some great Christmas movies: Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, Beetlejuice (well, the film’s ending is at Christmas time so I guess it still counts). The great thing about this movie is it can be enjoyed by all ages. I’m pretty sure I was in my early 20’s when I saw this film for the first time. You won’t be able to get the lyrics out of your head for days. And in a good way. Who wouldn’t want to go about singing a song about Christmas with lines like “There’s children throwing snowballs, instead of throwing heads. They’re busy building toys, and absolutely no one’s dead!” See, how fun is that! Because of some of the themes it might not be appropriate for younger kids, so all the more reason to watch it yourself after they’ve gone to bed. I recommend turning the lights out, grab a glass of wine, and be prepared to sing your heart out. This film has a true beauty about it that art house films bring to life, and is definitely up there in my top movies of all time category.
So there you have it. I hope I’ve given you some great ideas. Do you have any other suggestions? Drop us a line, what is your favourite Christmas film of all time. So from Truthmummy and Stormaggedon (and the husband, who I’ll need to give an alias to at some point), Merry Christmas and happy viewing!