The Grinch, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Holiday; all great Christmas films, but do you ever get bored of them? Year after year, you’ve memorised all the lines, you know how it ends. Sure, it’s comforting but at some point, you’ve got to want something more. Want no more! I’ve got all the best films to help you have a kitsch, camp, cult and (in some cases) killer Christmas.
10. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
It's the old age story: a boy has parents, a boy sees parents brutally murdered by Santa impersonator, the boy develops a psychological complex that urges him to kill while dressed as Santa. I can't say it's heartwarming and I can't honestly say it's an objectively a good film but trust me, you'll forget all about that as soon as you watch this terrible, awful, brilliant film.
9. Tangerine (2015)
Named for the colour LA is even in the dead of Winter, we follow two transsexual prostitutes in Downtown LA across Christmas Eve. It’s a walking tour of every part of the City of Angels you never wanted to see, set against the backdrop of what those who have nowhere to go do for Christmas. Shot entirely on iPhones and written to be grittily real, it’s not an easy watch, or very festive, but it’s certainly interesting.
8. Jack Frost (1998)
Another film that’s not exactly an Oscar favourite, but the film most likely on the list to give you the warm fuzzies. Plus it’s got the incomparable Michael Keaton as a dead father in the form of a walking, talking snowman trying to get a second chance with his son and wife. Say aww.
7. In Bruges (2008)
It's in Belgium. A beautiful, picturesque city in winter time, when the snow makes it look like a fairy-tale. Now sprinkle in there two foul-mouthed Irish hitmen, a racist dwarf, and Ralph Fiennes as a purely evil, sadistic and even more foul-mouthed British mob boss with a strong code about killing children. Christmas movie magic.
6. Black Christmas (2006)
The second horror on the list, and a better film by far, Black Christmas was one of the 70s’ first ventures into the slasher genre. So it’s a pretty big deal and, get this, it’s actually somewhat scary. I mean, you’re not going to be hiding behind the sofa, but it does better than you’d expect for a slasher. A slasher about Christmas.
5. Scrooged (1988)
Bill Murray magic. An unnecessarily and unexpectedly violent ghost of Christmas past. The best and most overlooked adaptation of a worn out classic to date. What else do I need to say? Go watch Scrooged.
4. Brazil (1985)
The Gilliam classic is, of course, a grounding dystopia that helps us analyse the world we live in, and where it's heading and we're heading with it. But it's set at Christmas, Santa is featured and it keeps us grounded about the way we spend our money. What's Christmas without a little guilt?
3. Jingle all the Way (1996)
Picture Arnold Schwarzenegger. What do you see? The Terminator? The Camo-clad hero of Predator? I bet what you're not picturing is a stressed-out father battling his way through a mall on Christmas Eve to get his on the coolest toy on the market. Are you intrigued? I’d be worried if you weren’t.
2. Babes in Toyland (1986)
When I think of the best Keanu Reeves film, I think Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Goofy, weird, he’s young and so he was more likely to take weird roles, such as his place opposite Drew Barrymore in this attempt to take The Wizard of Oz, make it Christmassy, utterly mutilate it and make it one of the best worst Christmas films of all time.
1. Santa Clause Conquers the Martians (1964)
You can tell I've saved the best until last, can't you? It's… exactly what it sounds like. Santa and two kids who have all been abducted by a Martian leader sick of his kids being made lazy by earth pop-culture have to get off of Mars. Okay, it's nothing like it sounds, it's better. My childhood VHS copy was so worn out the celluloid broke.