Christmas. The time of year when families come together to give and receive gifts, eat their body weight in turkey and roast potatoes and drink so much that they wake up on Boxing Day morning wrapped up in tinsel lying at the bottom of the Christmas tree. In recent years however, gathering together on the couch and watching Christmas films has become a popular pastime for British households, with the BBC being on top once again, with this year being the first time Frozen (2014) is being aired.
If you are like me however (a “Scrooge” according to my mother), you find Christmas films to be overly cheesy and all-round fake. “Bah hum bug” is my family’s catchphrase for me. However, there’s always a silver lining in a rain (or snow in this case) cloud. Over the years, I have come across films that are deemed Christmas films but aren’t really. They have been my saving graces. Here is my list of the Top 5 Non-Christmassy Films To Watch This Christmas!
- Edward Scissorhands: This film has always been a favourite of mine during the winter period as it fits in to what I like to watch normally, but has the tinge of Christmas to it without being horrifically cheerful. “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), directed by Tim Burton and starring young Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, is considered a Christmas film (in my eyes and others) mainly because the whole story derives around a grandmother telling her granddaughter about why it always snows on Christmas. That’s about the only Christmassy thing about the film. The story behind why it snows on Christmas as it’s revealed in the film is heartbreakingly well-thought out and written, and the way it’s executed from the incredible acting to the phenomenal film score is near-perfection.
- Batman Returns: If you know me in person, you will know that I’m probably the biggest superhero nerd that you will ever meet, so this addition to the list won’t be a surprise to some. “Batman Returns” (1992), directed by Tim Burton (seeing a pattern yet?) and starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito, is set during the Christmas period, yes, but it is by no means a Christmas movie. Yes, the frame device for the film is centered around Christmas as in it’s set at Christmas, and the use of Christmas ornaments and decorations as weapons are noticable, but that’s about it. With a “fresh” rating of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes and 7.0/10 on IMDB, it is definitely a film to check out if you relate to my cause.
- Gremlins: This film is sort of an exception in this list, mainly because it is an insanely cheesy Christmas film…but hear me out. It’s cheesy in the sense that it’s definitely a Christmas movie, but it isn’t a Christmas movie that you would sit around with your young children and grandparents now is it? “Gremlins” (1984), directed by Joe Dante and starring Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates, is a comedy horror film that is set at Christmas and the Gremlins themselves are introduced as a Christmas gift. However, the spin on how Christmas is viewed is what attracted me to the film. Kate (Phoebe Cates) has a whole monologue at the beginning of the film about how she hates Christmas since finding out that Santa doesn’t exist (I’ll let you find out how yourself). I wouldn’t go as far as say I hate Christmas, but I related to the monologue none-the-less.
- Prometheus: In this film, you wouldn’t think there would be any Christmas theme to it at all. This is where you are wrong. As seen from the picture above, “Prometheus” (2012), directed by Ridley Scott and starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender, does have some Christmas aspects to it, therefore makes into my list. The movie itself isn’t the best, but you can’t deny that the acting by Michael Fassbender is amazing. The whole theme of the film is about faith and and even the connotations made in the film that Jesus was an alien sent to Earth by highly intelligent beings (far-fetched I know but it’s a sci-fi film, what can you expect?), so it’s Christmassy in the sense that the religion argument is explored. (Also Idris Elba putting up a Christmas tree is another thing).
- Die Hard: I couldn’t write a list of Non-Christmassy “Christmas” films without mentioning this movie – it is a legend. “Die Hard” (1988), directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, is probably the most famous non-Christmassy Christmas film out there. It may be set in the holiday season and famous Christmas songs such Ode to Joy and Let It Snow featuring in the film to set the tone, that’s about it. This film is loved by many for it’s fun explosive action and (intentionally?) bad German accents.
All of these films are perfectly acceptable to watch at Christmas if you are not into the Christmas mood, so collapse on your sofa, bring all the chocolate you were gifted on Christmas morning and have a happy Christmas!