The Christmas Movies You’d Better Watch Out For this Festive Season
Ah, Christmas. It’s always a good time for movies, with the bumper edition of the Radio Times signalling the start of a month of classic films on the telly. Everyone has their favourites, and usually at least one will make you cry (I’m looking at you, The Muppets Christmas Carol). Sentimentality is entirely encouraged and it’s imperative that everyone on-screen learns a valuable lesson, whether it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger realising his lonely son needs more than a Turbo-man toy in Jingle All The Way, or Jimmy Stewart running joyously down the street after realising his true fortune in It’s a Wonderful Life.
Every year the film industry attempts to bring some new movies in to the rigid ranks of tried-and-tested ‘classics’. The success rate is not usually high, although most of the time audiences are simply looking for a change. As long as there is a safe amount of tinsel and presents, not to mention a lack of Vince Vaughn’s cursed appearances, then holiday spirit usually remains relatively unimpaired.
This year’s offerings still have plenty to offer families, although do have a disappointing lack of either animated features or romances. The appearance of a holiday-themed horror movie however is always welcome for those who aren’t of the saccharine type.
Here are the ones that will be hoping to bring audiences dashing through the snow to the warm screening rooms this Christmas-
Christmas with the Coopers
Families get together, high-jinks and bickering ensue. This one boasts the well-known ensemble cast technique designed to distract audiences as they confusedly attempt to place and name familiar actorly faces for 90 minutes. The trailer has a couple of decent gags but if it follows that well-known trend of showing the funniest bits, then you might have to worry about the rest of the movie. It’s directed by Thomas Bezucha, whose previous directorial work was The Family Stone, a film with a very similar description to this one, as well as the same Diane Keaton. Hopefully it’s not a turkey.
Coming to cinemas on 1st December.
Sofa and Netflix alternative: Home Alone (Poor Kevin. Try that for a dysfunctional family.)
We all know there’s something a bit shady about the idea of someone breaking into people’s houses and leaving presents that only a psychic could know they wanted. That’s why my inner grinch has a definite liking for movies which try to exploit the creepiness of that idea. The character of Krampus is apparently from European folklore as a goat-like creature who went along with dear old St Nick and traumatised children whose misbehaviour deprived them of a present. An excellent choice for a comedy-horror in my opinion, and by director Michael Dougherty who made the underground success Trick ‘r Treat in 2007.
Coming to cinemas on 4th December.
Sofa and Netflix alternative: Rare Exports : A Christmas Tale (Undead Santa found in the ice. Similarly Christmassy.)
The Night Before
Seth Rogen and his band of buddies have tackled the apocalypse, they’ve offended a North Korean dictator and now they’re taking on Christmas. It follows the story of three friends who are on their last big Christmas night out in New York before they have to settle down and become responsible adults. The ‘bro’-style humour will be familiar to anyone who has seen Rogen’s movies in the last few years and with a Miley Cyrus cameo and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in an elf costume to entice audiences, it should do well.
Coming to cinemas on 4th December.
Sofa and Netflix alternative: Bad Santa (Similar theme of holiday debauchery and cursing for the sort-of grown-ups)
A Christmas Star
Created by the people behind Cinemagic, a film and television festival for young people, this film has been called the ‘first Irish Christmas film’. It looks very sweet, and promises a host of new on-screen talent in its young actors. Don’t forget too, Liam Neeson, aka the voice of Aslan, is credited as the voiceover for this film. It definitely looks like some safe family fare.
Sofa and Netflix alternative: Nativity! (Make sure it’s the first one. Featuring similar musical finale and an excellent Martin Freeman.)
Released on 13th November and already in cinemas.