Alternative Christmas-y movies for this holiday season


Move over, Santa and Rudolph

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer

Are you tired of the same old Charlie Brown specials on every year? While heartwarming Christmas movies have their place, many of us grow bored with the typical heartwarming movies airing on cable and Netflix. Fortunately, there are many movies out there that feature Christmas, but are nonetheless twisted, alternative, and/or not appropriate for children.

Gremlins (1984)

Teenager Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) receives an adorable bizarre creature known as a Mogwai for Christmas. However, his new pet Gizmo quickly multiplies and mutates, and the spawn become hideous gremlins. They quickly attack citizens and destroy the town in this ’80s holiday classic, which features one of the strangest Santa stories you’ll ever hear.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

In Tim Burton’s claymation masterpiece, Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, accidentally discovers Christmas Town. Bored with the same old scariness, he attempts to take over Christmas and replace Santa—with horrific results. Great fun for the whole family and a classic every October and December.

Scrooged (1988)

This comedy features the legendary Bill Murray as a corrupt TV executive who’s visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve in a modern-day (and totally self-aware) retelling of A Christmas Carol.

Bad Santa (2003)

Billy Bob Thornton plays an alcoholic, sarcastic mall Santa who conspires with his elf partner (Tony Cox) to rob the department store where they work every Christmas Eve. Things get complicated, hilarious, and even darker when a lonely young boy (Brett Kelly) enters the picture.

Eight Crazy Nights (2002)

This animated musical about Hanukkah stars Adam Sandler, who jointly voices a small-time lowlife and a kind, hardworking old man who team up to perform community service (per court order) in December. It’s immature and foul, but perfect for when you’ve had a couple rum and eggnogs.

Die Hard (1988)

NYPD officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) must save several hostages, including his wife, from German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) on Christmas Eve. The amount of profanity and the number of explosions and gunshots make this possibly the best Christmas movie ever.

Batman Returns (1992)

Tim Burton directs this sequel to the original Batman. It follows Batman (Michael Keaton) attempting to stop the Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) from killing him and taking over Gotham during Christmas. It’s gothic, visually haunting, and features superb performances from the all-star cast.

Black Christmas (1974)

If you’re looking for a darker holiday movie, this horror flick is based on the true murders of sorority sisters’ in Quebec that took place during Christmas. This Canadian film was one of the first ever slashers.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

A young Johnny Depp plays an artificial man with scissors in place of hands who comes to suburbia and experiences food, emotion, holidays, and love for the first time. Tim Burton directed this one, proving he’s the master of gothic, alternative Christmas movies.

Mean Girls (2004)

Do we really need a summary for this one? You and your friends have been quoting it for over a decade. Technically this high school comedy with Lindsay Lohan and Tina Fey takes place over the whole school year. But I’m putting it in here only for the Jingle Bell Rock scene. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.