Ah, Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year. Full of joy, cheer and watching the same Yuletide movies over and over again. However, the festive season need not be a cacophony of monotony – here are 10 Christmas movies that might just knock you out of that joyful rut.
Like what you see? Check out our Emily White’s picks for the best Alternative Christmas Movies for those of you who hate Christmas.
10. Die Hard (1988)
Let’s kick things off with possibly the most obvious choice on this list. Therefore, it’s at number 10, because who wouldn’t enjoy watching terrorist ruin Christmas?
The movie follows John McClane (Bruce Willis) as he tries to rescue Christmas from a group of terrorist, spearheaded by the terrifying Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman). It’s got guns, white vests and a lot of swearing. It practically screams Christmas.
With this in mind, it’s worth noting the controversy that surrounds Die Hard. Just to quell that immediately, it most definitely is a Christmas movie (it’s set on Christmas Eve, for goodness sake) and any other opinions are invalid.
If horror is your bag, then don’t let Christmas stop you from watching it. P2 is a gore fest with a holiday twist, and it’s guaranteed to give you a good scare on those chilly winter nights.
The movie follows Angela (Rachel Nichols) as she is pursued by a psychopath (Wes Bentley) in a multi-storey on Christmas Eve. Sounds weird, but it delivers on the scares and the gore – just want you want at Christmas.
Granted, it’s not the best Christmas movie ever made, but it’s good fun and it might just be the refreshing change you need during the holiday season.
8. Gremlins (1984)
A movie filled with fun for all the family, Gremlins is a welcome break from the cloying sweetness of Christmas movies come to pass.
It follows Billy (Zach Galligan) as he unwittingly unleashes a hoard of mischievous creatures onto his hometown. With help from arguably one of the cutest creatures ever caught on screen, Gremlins is definitely one of the better festive kids movies.
If you want laughter, a tiny furry creature riding around in a Barbie convertible, and a lot of really amazing violence, this is the Christmas movie for you.
7. Scrooged (1988)
Bah, humbug! This 1980’s take on the Yuletide classics sees Bill Murray take on the role of Scrooge in all of his miserable glory.
Everyone knows the plot to A Christmas Carol, which is what this movie takes it’s story from. However, with added TV specials and Carol Kane, this is a superior adaptation, with the ability to make even the biggest grump crack a smile.
Despite it’s awful reviews, this is a veritable classic. Whack this on the telly after Christmas dinner and you’ll be on to a winner.
6. Trading Places (1983)
Boasting none of the Christmas cheer and none of the saccharine sentiment, Trading Places is a perfect example of Christmas movies for those who don’t like a Christmas.
It follows Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in a contemporary retelling of the Princess and the Pauper, as the swap places and financial situations over the Christmas period.
It’s easy enough to watch one of those movies you always watch at Christmas, but why not watch a classic comedy instead? After all, who doesn’t want to watch Dan Aykroyd fill a Santa suit with a whole salmon?
5. Love Actually (2003)
Yes, this is a genuine Christmas film. Yes, it’s still filled with holiday joy and cheer. But do the other Christmas movies you watch feature Kris Marshall singing about the size of his manhood in an airport? Didn’t think so.
This movie follows a variety of stories all in the run up to Christmas. With a star-studded cast, and a screenplay that is genuinely funny, it’s one of the best genuine Christmas movies out there.
If you’re in the mood to cry, laugh and beam from ear to ear, this is the movie for you. However, just prepare yourself for how much you’re going to hate Alan Rickman afterwards.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
If you’re more into animation, this might be the movie for you. It’s dark, brilliantly made and Christmassy in a way that isn’t obnoxious.
It follows the folk of Halloween Town, as they try to steal Christmas from Christmas Town in order to claim it as their own.
If you’re a fan of a musical, and a fan of all things gothic, this will be right up your alley. Just try not to open any of your presents that Santa leaves under the tree – they might try to kill you.
3. The Night Before (2015)
Nothing makes you think of funny like Seth Rogen. Luckily, this movie has Seth Rogen, and loads of other really funny people in it too.
The Night Before follows a group of mates as they all go on one last Christmas Eve night out before they decide to mature and get on with their lives. Full of sex, drugs and Miles Cyrus, this movie is far from the Yuletide films of yore.
There will be no scene in a Christmas film funnier than Seth Rogen being high in a church during Mass. Especially seen as he is actually Jewish.
2. Step Brothers (2008)
Now, this is not technically a Christmas film. However, for its scenes set at Christmas alone, it deserves to be on this list.
This movie follows Brennan and Dale and they are forced to live together once their parents marry each other. Oh, and they’re also 40 year old men.
If you haven’t seen this movie, watch it. It’s a gem at any time of the year. But watching Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly lob presents at each other whilst they sleepwalk, is a scene that must be enjoyed during the festive season.
1. Krampus (2015)
What says Christmas like a giant, hoofed monster trying to kill your entire family? Exactly – nothing.
This movie follows a family as they are plagued by Krampus after he is accidentally summoned. It’s a horror movie that really wants to show you just how awful Christmas can be.
This is a movie that screams Christmas. Well, not really, but it’s definitely worth a watch. Just don’t let a child watch this – it might scar them for life.
Now, all that’s left to do is grab some snacks, put on your favourite PJ’s and snuggle up on the sofa, as you celebrate Christmas as it is meant to be celebrated – full of laughter, cynicism and Christmas spirit.