How the Grinch Stole Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, Scrooged, even Elf; everyone has their favourite Christmas movies. But who made the rule that all Christmas movies must be warm and life-affirming? Who decided that they must feature at least one montage scored to a carol?
So for this Holiday season, we’ve put together a list of films that feature loud cussing, fake cheer, grisly action - but are still, deep down in their souls, Christmas movies.
It’s likely that you never even thought of these movies as Christmassy, but after this, you certainly will.
1. Die Hard (1988)
We all remember Die Hard as the film that redefined action movies. It cemented Bruce Willis as the generation’s top action star and gave us one of the most memorable villains ever in Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber. But did you notice that the entire movie takes place on Christmas eve?
2. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
You’ve seen those movies in which explorers go on a quest to find mythical creatures, buried treasure, hidden cities, etc.. But in this Finnish horror movie, they’re hunting for something else. In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas: Santa Claus.
3. In Bruges (2008)
Nothing about this gem of a dark comedy starring Colin Farrell can be called Christmassy. From its dour tone, to its excessive use of a certain four-letter-word, to its less-than-cheerful ending. But despite it all, its set in the fairytale town of Bruges, during Christmas, and in its own twisted way, is very life-affirming.
4. Batman Returns (1992)
Tim Burton’s sequel to his smash hit Batman film might just be the weirdest movie featuring the Dark Knight. But with its grotesque villains, snowy setting and the sense of doom and gloom during a festive time, it’s one of our favourite alternative Christmas movie picks.
5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Like In Bruges, KKBB is another buddy movie about two individuals with violent tendencies. And like every movie directed by Shane Black, Christmas plays a major role (he even squeezed it into Iron Man 3). This one, about a private detective and a down-on-his-luck actor (Robert Downey Jr), is a delight.
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