Everyone has their own festive traditions, and for most of us nostalgia-bound film fans, many of said rituals lie in the films that we rewatch religiously every holiday season. These are the films that we simply do not feel “Christmassy” until we’ve watched. For everyone, it’s a different list (indeed one editor of the site insists on watching the little-known Bernard and The Genie every year and has kept his VHS player for that sole reason) – it’s all about our own personal relationships with the films. So, in a little self indulgence, I’d like to share my five festive favourites. Enjoy.
5. Die Hard (1988)
As a recent meme has reminded us, it’s not Christmas until we see Alan Rickman fall off Nakatomi Plaza. Nothing quite says “feliz Navidad” like Bruce Willis kicking terrorists arses in his bare feet and a white vest.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Some people consider this a Halloween film. They can stuff it. Nightmare is an integral part of the Christmas countdown in the Westgate house, and despite my annoying everyone else by singing along to every lyric, this stop-motion masterpiece by Burton, Selick and Elfman is perfect festive viewing for emo-kids and non-emos alike.
3. Love Actually (2003)
Call me a big girl’s blouse, but for me it really isn’t Christmas until I’ve had a good cry at Love Actually. I know it’s not the greatest film ever, but it’s just nice, and despite having watched it pretty much every year for the last decade now, there always seems to be a story I hadn’t noticed before. It’s heartwarming, and isn’t that what Christmas is about, actually?
2. Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)
Found in a bargain bin back in first year of university this schlock classic became mandatory Christmas viewing for me and my friends. Utterly ridiculous and self depreciating, this tropical tale of a serial killer trapped in the body of a snowman is a charming fairy story to warm the cockles.
1. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Perhaps an obvious choice for number one, but the Muppets’ finest cinematic outing is a sing-along bonanza that really encapsulates the Christmas spirit (or all three of them as the case may be). Arguably Michael Caine’s greatest performance, with dancing penguins and singing food, this is one film it really isn’t Christmas without!