Christmas Movies

HolidayNightHunter

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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weeniewhistle

For many, finding out the truth about Santa Claus is an important first step of a ritual entry into adulthood. The experience differs from person to person, but for me it happened gradually and without incident. Around 7 years old, I reasoned that it was impossible for a character as absurd as the Easter Bunny to exist. A year later, I came to the same conclusion about the big jolly guy. I didn’t see my parents as deceptive, or myself as naïve – this exit from childhood fantasy was more like an induction, or the first of many doors opened into rational adult living. I preserved the fantasy as best as I could for my younger brother, and played along with my parents whenever Kris Kringle’s name came up. My experience must not be unusual, as many children’s Christmas films deal directly with a similarly gradual onset of Santa skepticism – that moment where one’s imagination is put in conflict with the dawning truth that the world operates on particular rules that are impossible to break. Gravity, time, matter. In this way, such films imbue an adult and a child’s view of Christmas simultaneously by investing in the illusion while also showing its manufacture. But these films (as children’s Christmas films will unsurprisingly do) ultimately demonstrate the impossible fantasy to be undeniably true, to the dismay and shock of enlightened skeptics like James Caan’s Walter Hobbs in Elf or Judge Reinhold’s Dr. Neal Miller in The Santa Clause. And Reinhold’s […]

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Over Under - Large

Sometime around fifteen years ago, A Christmas Story was something of a modern cult classic. It was kind of amusing and kind of off-beat, and you could make a connection with someone if you mentioned it and it turned out you both liked it. Or, at least, that’s how it was where I grew up, which was the area of Northwest Indiana where the story was set. A funny thing happened in the late ’90s, though. TNT started playing the movie on cable for 24 hours straight during Christmas, the concept caught on, and now, thirteen years later, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know about Ralphie, his Red Rider BB gun, and Scut Farkus. But another funny thing happened, too. After so many years of repetition, the movie has started to feel a whole lot less quirky and fun. At this point, it’s probably the most overrated holiday movie ever, and all it takes is one person dropping quotes from it at a Christmas party to get me to make internal noises of frustration. Joe Dante’s Gremlins has had almost the exact opposite lifespan. It came out a year after A Christmas Story, was a pretty gigantic hit right away, and established itself as one of the iconic ’80s blockbusters quite quickly. But, over the course of the last couple decades, its influence has faded a bit. Despite the fact that the movie is set during Christmas, and is about the perfect Christmas present just as […]

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Silent Night Trailer

Remember that ’80s era slasher flick, Silent Night, Deadly Night? It’s back! In remake form. Or, maybe not exactly in remake form. It seems like it’s also possible to look at this film as being a loose sequel to the original as well as being a remake, kind of like The Evil Dead and The Evil Dead 2. Either way, when you hear the words “horror movie” and “Silent Night” in the same sentence, you know what to expect: a murderous Santa taking out the townsfolk with an axe. Or, to be more accurate to this trailer, a murderous Santa taking out the townsfolk with an axe, a cattle prod, a wood chipper, and a flame-thrower. Sure, it’s not likely that Silent Night is going to be anything other than exploitative schlock, but seeing as Jaime King makes for a lovely leading lady, Malcolm McDowell is getting the chance to overact, and Donal freakin’ Logue is playing the super-creepy Santa Clause, it’s not likely that it will disappoint anyone who’s just looking for a Christmas movie about people getting killed. And, deep down, aren’t we all just looking for a Christmas movie about people getting killed?

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Drinking Games

Now that Halloween is over, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, it’s time to start getting into the Christmas cheer. You might think it’s a little too early for this, but Wal-Mart has had its Christmas decorations up for a month now, and movie studios are following suit. As they do every year, studios are dropping their Christmas films this week to get a jump on the holiday spending spree. Here at Film School Rejects, we have a special place in our hearts for the Muppets, and there’s also quite a bit of love for the 1992 film The Muppet Christmas Carol, which is getting a Blu-ray release for the first time this week. So forget the fact that Thanksgiving is more than two weeks away. Check out this holiday favorite early and avoid the Christmas rush.

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Why Watch? How else do you think they get the Santa to your local mall? For fans of Rare Exports, this is a special short film treat. For those who haven’t yet fallen in love with the Finnish flick from Jalmari Helander about the accidental awakening of an ancient demon named Santa Claus, here’s a great introduction. Fair warning though, there’s some old man penis involved. Plus, it’s a beautifully shot commercial for a company based in the land of the original Father Christmas. Order yours today, and have a hell of a holiday. What does it cost? Just 7 minutes of your time. Trust us. You have time for more short films.

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Why Watch? It’s the story about a snowman with no arms on an adventure to find some. It echoes Rankin & Bass, and it’s pleasantly low-budget the way the first South Park Christmas videos were. Plus, it’s delightful and only a little bit creepy. Enjoy the ending! Happy holidays! What does it cost? Just 8 minutes of your time. Trust us. You have time for more short films.

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Over Under: A New Perspective on Films New and Old

Recently, I found myself looking for a movie to watch that was Christmasy and festive, but not necessarily something so holiday-themed that it had Santa Clauses, reindeer, and Jesuses in it. You know, something about normal people but set around the time of the holidays. While perusing all of the top ten holiday movie lists that I could find around the web, I saw one title keep popping up again and again, Richard Curtis’s Love Actually. I never saw this one when it came out, it just looked like another generic romantic comedy to me, but it turns out a lot of people love to watch it every year around the Christmas season. And further research led me to the fact that a lot of people mention it as one of the few romantic comedies that’s actually good from the last decade as well. Sounded strong enough for me to give it a watch. It turns out I didn’t much care for the film, though, and my need for something Christmasy had been left unsated. Not willing to go out on another limb, I decided to revisit a film that I had already seen before, one that I remembered enjoying much more than I was expecting to back when it was released. This second choice was Thomas Bezucha’s 2005 film The Family Stone, which already seems to be rather forgotten. Luckily for me, time did not prove my idiocy, because upon a second watch I found that I still enjoyed […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Ben Solovey explains why he’s personally restoring a 16mm print of Manos: The Hands of Fate, one of the worst movies ever made. Plus, I Melt With You director Mark Pellington talks drugs and demons, and it’s Fat Guy Kevin Carr versus Geek Tyrant editor-in-chief Jim Napier in a Movie News Pop Quiz that will change everything forever and ever. Download This Episode

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Drinking Games

Yeah, we know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but that hasn’t stopped the advertisers and the studios from assaulting us with Christmas-related stuff. So what better way to take the edge off the early holiday onslaught by tipping back a glass or two of eggnog and watching one of the bigger early Christmas releases. And if you’re lucky, Jim Carrey may just start to look less creepy as you move through this film.

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Well, Merry whatever you celebrate. Because no matter what it is, we’ll be there to celebrate (and drink heavily) right alongside you. All of you. Seriously.

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cultwarrior-thanksgiving

This week’s Culture Warrior asks why there aren’t more movies about Thanksgiving. Christmas always seems to hog all the good ones.

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christmasvacation_1

There are many elements that go into our favorite Christmas movies. The least of which often being the quality of the actual film. In general, I’ve found that most people cling to Christmas movies to which they can relate, or that they’ve shared fondly in years past with friends and family.

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There are a slew of Christmas movies out there, which seems rather unfair because it’s the only holiday where movies are made specifically for it.

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Not just the best Christmas film, but one of the best films ever made.

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We know this is a bit of a cop-out, but it’s Christmas.

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It’s Christmas dammit. Put a little love in your heart.

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It’s Christmas Eve. A desperate man is suicidal, certain that his entire life has been worthless, and he’s facing a ruinous scandal. But heaven has better things in store for George Bailey.

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Things are very different today than they were when we were kids… or at least when I was a kid.

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Curiously, Santa Claus: The Movie is one of those Christmas movies that, unless you were a child in the 80s, or had a child in the 80s, you completely missed out on.

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