Christmas is a time in which we think of others and give back to our community in some way. It’s also a time of joy and laughter, bringing friends and families together for the holidays.
This week, I thought I would do something a bit more casual. Everyone has their list of annual Christmas movies – the classics. Is there a better way to bring families together than to watch a holiday classic? Well, maybe you’ve exhausted your usual movies and need something fresh.
There are some great Christmas-themed movies that often get overlooked. This is because they take place during Christmas, yet have little to do with the actual holiday. Yet people still find an excuse to watch Die Hard every year.
So if you’re looking for a “new” movie appropriate for the season, maybe give one of these a shot. Regardless of what tech you use – DVD, Blu Ray, Netflix, etc. – gather the family, turn on the TV, and enjoy one of these five underrated holiday movies.
NOTE: You may want to put the little ones to bed before watching these movies!
Probably the most family-friendly movie on this list, Gremlins blends elements of horror and comedy into something special. When Billy’s dad is out looking for the perfect Christmas gift for his son, he happens upon a cute pet. Unfortunately for Billy, his pet is actually a monster that can spawn other monsters to wreak havoc on the town.
Gremlins offers a black comedy style mixed with a Christmas Eve setting. If you’re looking for a movie that fits the atmosphere yet offers something different for the holidays, check out this movie that has Steven Spielberg as producer!
2) Lethal Weapon
An apparent suicidal jump brings Murtaugh and Riggs, two incredibly different cops in L.A., together. They soon find out that the victim was likely poisoned, leading to a chase against numerous bad guys involved with a heroin-smuggling operation. Over time, they’ll have to learn how to get along with each other… unless one kills the other first.
A handsome Mel Gibson combines drama and comedy with the most hideous haircut of the 1980s. That pretty much sums up this terrific, yet cheesy, action flick. It’s super fun as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Plus, it takes place during Christmas. What’s not to love?
3) The Nightmare Before Christmas
What do you get when you combine Tim Burton’s dark Halloween-like visuals with a Christmas theme? Batman Returns. Oops, wrong movie! But still an excellent one, all the same (consider that a bonus sixth entry). No, I’m talking about The Nightmare Before Christmas, Burton’s stop motion musical masterpiece.
The imagery in the film is incredibly dark and likely frightening for children, but no more so than Gremlins. In classic Disney tradition, the film boasts a number of catchy songs and a Christmas atmosphere that would feel right at home over the holidays.
4) The Shining
When an aspiring writer, Jack Torrance, became the caretaker of an isolated hotel during the Christmas season, he didn’t know that it would be haunted by the spirits of people that died there horrifically. The previous caretaker killed his family and himself after the bitterness of isolation and the supernatural forces haunting the hotel drove him insane. Now, the same thing might be happening to Jack…
While The Shining isn’t exactly a horror film, the way it plays with the psychosis Jack experiences due to isolation parallels a familiar experience that we’ve now been exposed to thanks to COVID-19. The film is fantastic, if a bit overrated, and perfectly fits the tone of Christmas from a darker perspective.
5) Black Christmas
This one is definitely not for the kids! Imagine being stuck in a sorority house for the holidays. You lock the doors and windows from an outside threat… only to realize that the threat has been inside with you all along.
This is the premise behind Black Christmas. The 1974 edition of the film is one of the finest horror films ever crafted, equally disturbing and magical. The movie develops the community into one that’s believable, and the dramatic irony involved with the girls not knowing that the killer’s in the house with them allows the movie to become something entirely original. It only helps that the movie has one of the best endings in horror movie history.
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