December is here and it’s time to break out the Christmas themed films. Of course I will watch as many as possible throughout the month, but there are the five films that are absolutely must watch ones.
5) Love Actually
While Love Actually is a romantic-comedy, it’s more adult-oriented in terms of its stories. It involves a group of people falling in and rediscovering love in different way around the Christmas season. There are plenty of charming and heartfelt moments. My favorite one being Liam Neeson’s storyline involving him connecting with stepson following the death of the boy’s mother and his wife as he also tries to help the boy gain the attention of a girl he has a crush on. All of the stories are engaging in their own ways and bring something different to the table during Christmas. Even if it’s not entirely about Christmas.
4) Black Christmas (original and remake)
The original works for real horror and the remake provides a very cheesy and fun slasher/gore-fest. They both tell the story of a killer who begins to torment and kill a house of sorority sisters stuck on campus during Christmas. The original film has some of the most creepy scenes ever featured in horror, as well as one of the most freaky killer (as well as the phone calls he makes to the house). The original film is much better constructed as a horror film, however the remake features the hottest female cast, PERFECTLY captures the Christmas feel (all the way down to the snowy weather, the lights/decorations, and the Christmas music). The remake is over-the-top in so many ways, and it’s not the most well-written film, but damn it if it’s not fun as hell, and some good one-liners thrown in.
My favorite Christmas horror film. I’m a huge sucker for dysfunctional family movies. No matter whether it’s a holiday film or not. I love seeing the different personalities of all the family members clashed together that can lead to laughs or even some good dramatic moments. Krampus is a horror-comedy that brings together a dysfunctional family that Krampus (known as the dark shadow of St. Nick) believes needs to be punished for losing the Christmas spirit. The cast does an incredible job of bringing these characters to life and almost bringing some realism to them that you can apply to your own family. There are plenty of laughs to be had here and as well as some fun thrills. It cleverly takes ordinary Christmas objects (toys, gingerbread men, snowmen, etc.) and makes them very nightmare-ish, and even Krampus himself is a very horrific version of Santa Claus. The first half of the movie really sets the atmosphere and tone of the Christmas holiday feel before switching gears to the horror aspects.
2) The Grinch
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer this one over the cartoon. We all know the story of The Grinch. A green loner who hates Christmas so much he wants to ruin it for the Whos down in Whoville by stealing everything Christmas-related. The cartoon is a classic without a doubt, but the live-action film provides so many great laughs, a massive amount of heart, and the “Christmas joy”. Plus it features my favorite Christmas song (Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill), which I gladly will sit through the end credits just to hear the song. Jim Carrey nails it as the Grinch in terms of the comical villain, and really sells the touching moments. And then of course you have the cute and innocent Cindy-Lou Who, delightfully played by Taylor Momsen (ya know, the wild rocker girl from Pretty Reckless and bratty teen from Gossip Girl?). I honestly have to second-guess my willingness to know you if you don’t enjoy watching this during the Christmas season.
But for real, how can you not love this moment?
1) The Family Stone
Now I come to not only my favorite Christmas film of all time, but my favorite dysfunctional family film as well. By watching the trailer you would think it will be just a goofy family comedy. Wrong. It is that, but there is so much family drama and genuinely deep moments involved. The Stone family is very different in their personalities, but their love for each other is all the same. When the oldest son brings home for Christmas his very uptight and fancy girlfriend, the family immediately isn’t too fond of her. While she tries to do things right, it doesn’t work out in her favor. What I love about this movie (besides the cast) is that is perfectly captures a very flawed family who has really ever had each other that opening up their family to someone new seems almost foreign. They may come off as horrible people often to some, but I like this about them, they’re not perfect, but they’re not entirely horrible either for the reason stated above. The cast does an amazing job of bringing each of these unique individuals to life and really making us get to know them and understand them. The Christmas feel is there, but more than anything is bring forward the family get together aspect.