The Christmas season spawns a plethora of holiday movie-goers, but for those who either lack funds or simply prefer vegging on the couch, there are several movies on cable TV one can count on to be aired. Some may have outlived their welcome, true, but I can’t deny the nostalgia that accompanies them. Memories of my childhood–that’s what they are. Watching them again as an adult sparks . . . interesting — if not downright disenchanting — opinions; however, I can easily bury those thoughts with hot chocolate and sweets that have no nutritional value.
So, in honor of the cold nights indoors watching movie reruns while the countdown to unwrapping presents ticks in the back of my mind, here’s a miraculously brief list of my favorite Christmas films. FYI, it’s not ranked so don’t twist your britches into candy canes or anything.
The Santa Clause (1994)
Ah yesh, Tim Allen’s begrudging transformation into a child’s magical bringer of gifts. Heart-warming indeed. Little girl version of me, however, was fascinated with The North Pole and the elves who were hundreds of years old. Also, remember their jet-packs? And the tinsel that could cut metal hinges!
ASV Villainy Rating: Ever heard of Krampus? It’s basically a holiday devil, a European anti-Santa, who kidnaps bad children and eats them instead of simply giving them coal. With all the abilities and elf-support Santa has in this movie, an evil version would pull an E — Evil Genius.
I distinctly recall my mother barring me from watching this movie because “you’ll get nightmares from it.” Seriously, Mom? This stop-motion musical is adorable. Plus, it qualifies for two holidays! OK, so the bogeyman kinda-sorta horrified me back then, but Tim Burton can have that effect on kids if he really wants. Nowadays I find his style quite charming. I’m humming the songs already, in fact. (“Kiidnapp the Sandy Claws! Throw him in a booox!”)
As for the movie itself, I think it’s a great kids’ movie. There’s nothing like a little menace to make a kid appreciate how lucky he or she is to be getting familial love and food and gifts for Christmas.
ASV Villainy Rating: I don’t even think I need to contemplate this. Jack needs only to do everything he already did in the movie, but with less than honorable intentions. He’d be buddy-buds with the Bogeyman, and poor Santa would be shish-ka-bob in a stew. What would then follow would be a Halloweenification of the rest of the holidays: Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc. However, since Halloween Town seems to run pretty decently, undead inclinations aside, shall we simply bear it and welcome our new overlords? Indeed, let’s. E — Evil Genius
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
I have seen movies and read fanfics copying this classic’s plot-line countless times, but it wasn’t until my husband looked at my utterly aghast when I told him I’d never seen this Frank Capra film that my mistake was forcefully corrected. Apparently, it was a sin that I didn’t know from whence “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings” originated.
ASV Villainy Rating: Conversely to Nightmare Before Christmas, I cannot seem to imagine the effusion of familial love that is It’s A Wonderful Life in an evil light. Selfish, perhaps, if George Bailey only wanted to return to life for avarice, but c’mon! Look at those adorable children. I can’t do it. T — Too Good For Us
Home Alone (1990)
Home Alone, the movie that taught my younger self that men’s aftershave burns upon application (?). No, truly; that’s what my mind pondered most. Sure, I loved that traps set and triggered, the rousing soundtrack (John Williams, why am I not surprised?) and montages, the comedic karma set upon the two thieves, but it’s Kevin McCallister’s signature scream face that really poked my ribs. “Why is he putting on aftershave that makes him scream?” and “Why is that picture on the cover of the VHS jacket? Yea, I was surely a brilliant child, don’t you think?
ASV Villainy Rating: While Kevin is resourceful, he is far from a genius. Were he a psychopath, his family would have left him home alone on purpose. He would have then proceeded to trash the house, imbibe alcohol and illicit drugs, then dissect animals until two exceedingly unfortunately burglars attempt to rob him. Harry and Marv would soon find themselves re-enacting Saw and everyone would be properly horrified. M — Megalomaniac for most of the world; WF — We’re Fucked for the Wet Bandits.
Elf (2003) — Took me a very long time to sit down and actually watch this movie due to the presence of Will Ferrell. I don’t know exactly what it is I dislike about him. It’s not really even dislike per se. Ugh. Hard to explain, I guess. Anyway the movie’s so funny that 43% of me forgets about Ferrell.
Die Hard (1988) — Yes, this is a Christmas movie. Some folks just couldn’t stand all the sappy rom-com’s anymore and created a kick-ass let’s-save-Christmas-with-guns-and-Bruce-Willis-versus-Alan-Rickman film.
The Polar Express (2004) — Not actually a favorite of mine, though I do think the animation wields some beautifully vivid images, but I included it because apparently my 3-year-old now adores the film. No, not for the Christmas theme. For the train. Duh, Mommy.
So, now that you know mine, let me know some of your favs! I’m quite curious!