Bah humbug. I hate Christmas movies, and not just because filming them takes up all the parking in my neighborhood in July. Really. The fake snow trucks are everywhere.
I hate Christmas movies because they are generally terrible, sappy, saccharine, soupy, weak-storied, emotionally manipulative crap. (Note to casting directors: I would be thrilled and honored to come in and read for any Christmas movies you happen to be casting).
“But what about (insert classic Christmas movie) Etta? That’s good.” Sure. Whatever. That one is good. But I’m still not watching it again. And if you were going to say “Love Actually,” Lindy West already wrote a perfect review that perfectly describes it perfectly.
So, is Scrooging the only way to go if you hate sappy crap like me? No. Here are some movies that you may be able to fool your family into watching this Holiday season because they are TOTALLY Christmas movies! And AWESOME.
- Rare Exports Even though this movie sins the Christmas movie sin of having a lonely child with hurt feelings in it, the terror totally makes up for it, and somehow the sad kid stuff isn’t as bad when it’s not in English. If you’ve been yearning for a mash up of 2010’s Trollhunter and any Steven Spielberg movie you’re in luck.
This movie also has possibly the best nude scene ever filmed. That’s all I’ll say about that. It is not sexual in nature so it’s totes comfortable to watch with teenagers you hardly know.
- Bad Santa You’ve seen this, right? It is everything your shriveled Grinch heart could want in a Christmas movie. Maybe only watch it with cool grandparents. This might be one of those for the stay up late crowd. There are some athletic sex scenes.
This movie has the best possible version of the lonely sad kid. Brett Kelly is a national treasure, even if he is Canadian. He’s a continental treasure. A Bad Santa 2 is in the works. They just can’t stop making Christmas movies!
- Krampus I haven’t seen this yet. It’s not even out yet while I’m writing this. But it looks like a better alternative than The Santa Clause which my Dad watches EVERY SINGLE YEAR. I think he even got it on DVD now. Ugh.
If it’s not good and you want to get your Toni Collette on and end up sobbing on the floor for hours in your childhood bedroom check out Japanese Story. Everything beautiful is dead and nobody will ever know your pain. If someone asks you why your nose is red blame the disgusting cinnamon broom someone bought because they didn’t want anyone to be able to smell or taste anything else for the rest of their lives.
- Die Hard You can get plenty of backup for this one. Someone else in your family would rather watch Die Hard too.
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas THE REAL ONE. 1966. And at a cool 26 minutes you have time for it.
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol Proof that a good telling can make the tiniest Tim bearable.
Now with only Cindy Lou Who as an exception in these stories the sad little child that needs cheering up is always white and male (mouse Tiny Tim is totally white and male, and I’d argue the sad little child in need of Christmas cheer in Die Hard IS John McClane so…). That’s another thing I hate about Christmas movies. They perpetuate a very white, male version of our world. Normal is the Griswolds, normal is Kevin McCallister, normal is Ralphie.
All over Hollywood (but mostly the Valley probably) screenwriter dudes in their 40’s close their office door on their real life children, and dig deep into their own childhoods for feelings and mistletoe to write a genre of movie that the studios are actually buying. That’s totally reasonable. Of course that’s what they’re doing. But in a world where people are finally noticing that women and people of color in Hollywood are really and truly marginalized and it’s totally criminal all the movies about sad little white boys learning the true meaning of Christmas are feeling OLD. A little variety in the schlocky offerings would be nice. I’m not even going crazy and asking for these movies not to be about Christmas!
So, like I said, bah humbug. Maybe making your Grandma binge watch Orange Is The New Black is what Christmas is really all about. Good luck setting up her Apple TV.