You probably have your own Christmas movie tradition. Whether it’s gathering as a family in the living room to plug in It’s a Wonderful Life, or heading to the cinemas to catch the latest MMFF entries (wishing, hoping, and praying there isn’t another lackluster Shake, Rattle, and Roll outing), kicking back to the enjoy the entertainment that a Christmas flick provides is just one way of riding out the holidays. But come on, by now you must be sick of John McClane’s death-defying antics or can’t stand the rambunctious attitude of Home Alone’s Kevin. Although these are certified classics, there are other Christmas-y flicks that deserve to be on Santa’s Nice List. Here are a few suggestions to include in your Yuletide rotation. Prepare the eggnog and fruitcake and let the screenings begin!
Nothing is more anti-Christmas than a holiday monster that wants to eat the flesh of you and yours. In this dark horror/comedy, Toni Colette and her kin must defend their household from a malevolent holiday force that her son Max wished for. Well, you know what they say, nothing brings a family closer together than an ancient demon out for blood.
2) The Holiday
If you’re having your girl over, this one will surely warm her up before, you know, Christmas dinner. In this rom-com, Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz play very different women from very different parts of the globe who swap houses and find love in the process. Still not convinced? Did we mention Jack Black adds a dash of unique hilarity to the whole setup? You’re welcome.
Back when Will Ferrell was still relevant, he starred in a very funny movie about a human who grew up in the North Pole thinking he was an elf. That elf was Buddy: the super awkward, super kind, and super sugar-obsessed bag of one-liners ("The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear") who leaves his home in search of his real father. It’s a feel-good flick that’s bound to keep you glued to its protagonist’s zany approach to life.
4) Batman Returns
Possibly the best Batman movie outside of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy. Also, Michelle Pfeifer as Catwoman.
Bill Murray steps into the shoes of a timeless Dickens character, Ebenezer Scrooge. In this modern retelling (if you can still count the ‘80s as modern, that is) of A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a TV executive who just hasn’t been bitten by the holiday bug. In true Dickensian fashion, he’s visited by three ghosts and…well…you know the rest.
6) Eyes Wide Shut
Only master auteur Stanley Kubrick is capable of melding sexual politics and occult orgies with Christmas. Then Hollywood hot pairing Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman played Bill and Alice Harford, a young, rich, and handsome couple whose relationship suddenly starts to unfurl amidst questions of infidelity. It was criticized when it first debuted, but has since grown a cult following for its disturbing meditation on the secrets we keep from the ones we love.