Anti-Xmas movies to cure holiday OD
Sick of Christmas already? Crackers got you cracking your knuckles? Ready to deck the halls with the blood of your enemies? We here at FD have got you covered. After you’re done filling your stockings and trimming your trees, how ‘bout something a lil’ less Christmassy: some stuff to scare, terrify, and delight you in your post-holiday binge.
We found eight films to take the edge off the Christmas cheer this holiday season.
Bad Santa (2003)
Before his terrifying turn on Fargo, Billy Bob Thornton made this cynical flick about a conman using a Santa Claus act in order to rob stores. It’s a ridiculous film chock full of not just slapstick, but R-rated laughs throughout: a real dark delight if you’re in the mood for something a little more devilish.
When your little sister’s finished unwrapping her Furbys and other cute little toys, just wander your eye over to the screen and play this monster flick starring the famous mogwai – “Don’t feed them after midnight!” Equal parts comedy & horror, this flick from Joe Dante (The Howling) really puts a chill on the holiday cheer – in a good way, trust us. Gremlins is a thoroughly entertaining film that’ll have the shrimps doing double-takes when unwrapping their toy animals & monsters.
Jingle All the Way (1996)
You might be wondering why this one is on this list. With Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) in the lead, and Sinbad also in this for some reason, people should just expect a fun, family-sized romp. Filled with hilarious hijinks and rip-roaring laughs! Except, well, no, because it’s a horror film in disguise. Jingle All the Way is a thorough examination of consumer culture and how it turns otherwise caring people into outright monsters, determined at any cost – even of bodily harm – to acquire valuable goods. It’s a tale of self-destruction, a paean aimed with deadly political accuracy.
Inspired ever so loosely by A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray (Lost in Translation) stars in this comedy flick taking center aim at corrupt high society. (Seems to be a theme of this piece . . . .) With some stirring music from Danny Elfman (The Nightmare Before Christmas), this Christmas comedy is quietly underrated. While it might fill you with some Christmas cheer, watching a guy getting tortured by ghostly apparitions for a few hours isn’t exactly going to have you singing carols.
In the mood for something a little more disturbing? This twisted, wild hunting thriller takes the Santa Claus legend in a much more terrifying direction. It’s about a group of people who trap wild Santa Clauses, and it spins a parodic tone that still manages to scare as much as it surprises.
If you imagine Bruce the Shark has a nice little Christmas hat, then this film is a lot less scary – but it’s still frightening as heck. Steven Spielberg might be about to take over awards season once again via his new flick The Post, but it’s well worth revisiting the storied director’s humble origins. Jaws invented the modern blockbuster as we know it today. Whilst there’s not much tinsel or mistletoe, Jaws is a genuinely suspenseful film that’ll calm your turkey aftertaste right down.
Inside Job (2010)
Sit your kids down in front of this stellar documentary that dives deep into the global financial crisis of 2008. With a laser-beam focus, director Charles Ferguson (Time to Choose) carves out an explosive true story about the chronic illness that is the crony-capitalist debt system. This flick won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and there’s so many reasons why. It’s a chilling exploration of the corruption inside the American financial system, and whilst you’re unwrapping your presents and buying the fairy lights this year, spare a thought as to where the value in your dollar is going.
Kiss Kiss, Bang, Bang (2005)
When he’s not indulging some weird Christmas fetish, Shane Black is making dark neo-noir comedy thrillers packed with witty dialogue and, by likelihood, Robert Downey Jr. Just before he was Iron Man, Downey starred in this murder mystery film which involves accidents, abducations, and meta-meta-commentary. The Christmas stuff is largely background dressing, and this cynical thrillride will be a nice salve on the yuletide joy you’ll be surfing. Enjoy!