Quick! What comes to your mind when you think of Christmas movies? It’s a Wonderful Life? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? Scrooged? Home Alone? Bad Santa?
Eh, who needs ’em!? It’s that time of year for…
The Schleicher Spin’s Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas Films:
These are movies that highlight the darker side of the season or perhaps just have that contemplative, cold wintry feel. So sit back with some whiskey, put a log in the fireplace and cozy up with something a little bit different.
10. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
"Daddy, daddy, does Santa live there?" "No, son, that's where Blofeld lives."
What says Christmas better than gun fights and chases on skis, blowing up Blofeld’s mountaintop resort/terrorist compound and seeing your wife murdered in a drive-by? Ah, the holidays!
9. Eyes Wide Shut
Santa knows you've been a naughty boy.
Kubrick’s swan song if chock full of that holiday spirit – from swanky yuletide parties, to brisk walks through the night, to cultish orgies…the whole film is strung up like twisted Christmas lights.
"Last Christmas I fed you after midnight..."
This was one of my earliest movie-going memories, and that Christmas every kid was begging for Gizmo or Scratch.
Please, Santa, don't eat me!
For the love of cannibals and manifest destiny, this thing bleeds the spirit of giving! Antonia Bird’s cult classic also features the most demented music score from Michael Nyman that will be sure to put you in the holiday mood.
The cha cha is no more ridiculous than life itself.
See how the “other half” spends their holidays as a bunch of pseudo-intellectual spoiled rich kids spend the Christmas season swanking it up at debutante balls and after-hours parties. Dryly humorous and surprisingly generous with its laughs, Whit Stilman’s debut has aged well over the years.
5. 12 Monkeys
All I want for Christmas is to find the cure for the plague that killed 5 billion people.
Terry Gilliam’s time tripping romantic thriller just oozes eternal winter. I still get all warm and fuzzy inside thinking of Bruce Willis wandering around a post-Christmas-Apocalypse Philadelphia Wanamaker’s – a landmark to all that has passed into distant slumber.
4. The Godfather
"And you come to me on this, the day of my savior's birth?"
Catholics, Italians…there’s a Christmas scene…what…you need an excuse to watch this?
3. The Dead
John Huston’s film adaptation of James Joyce’s classic holiday tale IS the Christmas season: all the joy, love, loneliness, bitterness and regret.
2. Fanny and Alexander
Yes, Ingmar Bergman, there is a Santa Clause!
Ingmar Bergman’s ode to his childhood opens with a Christmas party and ends with children reunited with their family after a horrendous ordeal. It’s exactly what you thought the holidays would be like in Sweden.
1. In Bruges
Clemence and Colin discuss spending every Christmas...In Bruges.
Bruges, Belgium – “it’s like a f***ing fairy tale, init?” Two hitmen get stuck in Europe’s favorite medieval holiday claptrap only to find out their psychotic boss is looking to give one of them a most special gift – a bullet in the head. Midgets, churches, canals, cursing and Clemence Poesy…that’s all I want for Christmas! One of the best films of the 2000’s is also the most contemplative and darkly humorous holiday film ever made.
What are your favorite non-traditional Christmas films?