12 Nights of Awesome Alternative Christmas Movies
Between all the Hallmark television presentations and Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas, it may feel like there isn't a whole lot of variety. Many of the movies feel like they are repetitive, and that you've seen them already, even if you haven't already seen them. Now don't get me wrong, there are staples that I happily go back to every year like Rankin and Bass specials, Charlie Brown, and more. Sometimes; though, you just want to go off the beaten path.
So, the next time someone asks you if you want to watch a Christmas movie, here are some beloved alternative suggestions.
Christmas doesn't start until Hans Gruber falls off the Nakatomi Building. This classic tale of a New York City cop saving Christmas has it all: laughs, romance, and the annihilation of elaborate safe robbers. As John McClane goes to repair his relationship with his estranged wife during her holiday office party, things take a turn for the worse when terrorists led by the great Alan Rickman hold everyone hostage. Can John McClane save Christmas? Yipee Kay Yay, he sure can!
This one gets overlooked way too often, but I can understand why at first. The movie follows Mel Gibson as a detective after the death of his wife. Out with a death wish, he is partnered up with Danny Glover. The buddy cop flick not just shows them uncovering a massive drug trafficking ring, but also saving the holidays. The final battle between Gibson and Garry Busey amongst all the Christmas decorations is legendary.
This movie takes place all throughout the Christmas season! It starts off with the abandonment of Oswald Cobblepot one lonesome December. Then 33 years later, in the midst of a new Christmas season, the Penguin makes his debut and Batman must stop him. This movie has Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, parades, and parties. In a way, its an anti-Christmas movie with how the villains use Christmas tropes for their own ends, specifically Christopher Walken's Max Schreck to appeal the people of Gotham. And come on, the last scene where Alfred wishes Bruce a Merry Christmas tugs at the heartstrings.
What a great 80s comedy horror classic! The Gremlins are often caught in Christmas hats, occasionally singing Christmas carols causing mischief in the snow. Heck, they are given as Christmas presents! It's a film you can watch any time of year, but it's fun when you have a warped sense of humor.
Some people don't believe me when I say this film is a Christmas movie, but Christmas does make up an integral part. The Christmas party scene is where Patrick Bateman is inspired to plan his next murder.
Iron Man 3
Marvel has been making more adherently Christmas content with last year's Hawkeye and this year's Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special, but for the longest time, Iron Man 3 was the MCU's only Christmas film. As Tony Stark battles the Mandarin, along with his PTSD, all he is trying to do is get home for the holidays.
Catch Me If You Can
Led by Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, Catch Me If You Can makes many time jumps and takes place during many time periods, but there is one constant thread to this thrilling cat-and-mouse crime caper. Hanks and DiCaprio's characters share a routine Christmas Eve phone call that becomes an endearing tradition uniting the two leads of this movie.
This one is for the horror fan out there. You probably won't catch this on the Wonderful World of Disney any time soon this Christmas season, but Krampus is absolutely a Christmas movie. Krampus is a horned beast who punishes naughty children at Christmastime. In the 2015 movie, Krampus chooses to attack the Engel family for their dysfunctional ways. Odd way to bring the family together, but you can say this is truly a story of family and perseverance.
The most recent release on this list is Violent Night. I actually haven't seen this one yet, but I want to. Seeing David Harbour play Santa Claus in a Home Alone meets Die Hard kind of vibe? Sign me up!
Edward Scissor Hands
When people think of Tim Burton and the holidays, they think of Nightmare Before Christmas, but often overlook Edward Scissorhands. This movie is not just for the Halloween season. If anything, it may fit more in Christmas, especially with its heart-wrenching climax. This kind of fish-out-of-water story is not foreign to the Christmas season at all.
The warped take on the Charles Dickens classic sees Bill Murray see the error of his ways in this 1988 film. Murray's cold television executive his haunted by ghosts to help in acknowledge his mistakes and fix his actions. I'll catch this on AMC every once in a while, and it's become a cooky favorite.
This may be a crude, dark comedy, but there is some heart to this Billy Bob Thorton Classic. Nothing says the holidays like conning people out of their money. However, the big thing that shines in this film is how Thorton befriends a young boy, and just like the Grinch, his heart grows three sizes.