Christmas and holiday entertainment to change up some of your traditions
By Veronnica MacKillop, Contributor
You’ve seen It’s a Wonderful Life more times than you can count, and even though you look forward to Elf and The Grinch every year, you may want Christmas entertainment a little more out of the norm. Or perhaps you hate Christmas movies and are looking for something that doesn’t have such a feel-good ending. Check out this list of Christmas movies and TV shows that you won’t see on every channel from now until December 25.
If you’re an action movie fanatic, you may already have a holiday tradition of watching Die Hard, the Bruce Willis film that takes an intense twist on Christmas Eve. Tim Burton’s Batman Returns puts the caped crusader in a winter setting, taking place right around Christmas. Reindeer Games features Ben Affleck, Charlize Theron, and a massive Christmas Eve robbery.
Maybe you’re sick of seeing the jolly Kris Kringle on your screen. Christmas Evil is a lookback at the sad life of a mall Santa-turned-murderer. Silent Night, Deadly Night is about a teenager who goes on a murder spree dressed as Santa to avenge the death of his parents. Krampus features a boy whose lack of holiday cheer unleashes the evil Krampus, a character based on Austro-Bavarian folklore. The classic Black Christmas is a sorority slasher flick from 1974, and was remade in 2006.
Classic Christmas movies like Rudolph are always a favourite, but cult classics are even better. Babes in Toyland (1961) is Walt Disney’s first live-action musical, based on the 1931 operetta. The 1964 B-movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is perfect if you’ve ever wondered what Christmas would be like on another planet. The 1984 movie Gremlins is a favourite, but it may have you rethinking your Christmas gifts.
If you’re more into TV shows than movies, there are plenty of great holiday episodes from your favourite shows. Though not technically a Christmas episode, Seinfeld’s “The Strike” has to make the list, since it popularized the celebration of Festivus. “Xmas Story” from Futurama features a giant robot Santa terrorizing New New York. The Office episode “Christmas Party” is one of the many great Christmas episodes of the show, and warns against the danger of that present-stealing game that everyone hates. Community has some of the best holiday-themed episodes, two of them making this list with “Comparative Religion” and “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.” The first-ever episode of The Simpsons tells the story of how the family gets their beloved dog, “Santa’s Little Helper.” “The Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” solidified the show as an instant favourite.
Christmas movies can be funny, but these movies take even more of a humorous twist on the holiday season. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas argues that stoner movies and Christmas do go very well together. A recent Christmas movie that is somehow even more hilarious than you expect it to be is Seth Rogen’s The Night Before. A neo-noir homage, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is perfect if you need a little more Robert Downey Jr. in your holidays.
Christmas and holiday-themed movies are great, but when you get tired of watching the same ones every year, try some more unconventional holiday entertainment to get into the spirit of the season.