Songs, snow and sweet endings – what would Christmas be without a good Yuletide movie?
A festive film to curl up in front of is as integral to Christmas as turkey binges, cringey cracker jokes, and defrosting Noddy Holder from his 11 month cryogenic sleep so he can bellow “It’s Christmaaaaaaas!” at us.
Besides which, you need something to watch in between the omnipresent Sainsbury’s ad.
With that in mind, here are the ten Christmas films that stand the test of time and tinsel…
10. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Archaeologists in Finland accidentally awaken Père Noël and some of his pensionable ‘helpers’. But it turns out the jolly red man of myth is more Satan than Santa, and that he was trapped in a mountain to keep him from boiling and killing naughty children.
Never taking itself too seriously, there’s a dark humour to proceedings throughout. Creepy and imaginative, it’s the perfect film for those who get fed up of Christmas by the 2nd of December.
9. Miracle on 34th Street
A classic to keep the grandparents and the kids quiet, Miracle is a film that they’ll be showing every December until the end of time.
Edmund Gwenn plays one of the best Santas ever to have appeared on celluloid and Natalie Wood is the cute as a button kid who’s the only person to believe he actually exists. It may be a bit old-fashioned but there’s a strong message about having faith in your own convictions that still holds true today.
With a diabetically sweet ending, it’s an indulgence of the kind you treat yourself to once a year, much like a mince pie.
8. The Santa Clause
Tim Allen’s Scott Calvin (accidentally) kills Santa and takes his job as the new Claus. Coincidentally that’s also how Tim Allen gets film-work these days.
One of many Christmas films about the trouble with believing in Saint Nick – whether you’re a kid, an adult, or even Santa himself – The Santa Clause doesn’t plumb new territory or have great depth, but it’s a simple story told well, and sometimes that’s all we ask for.
7. Home Alone
Home Alone just wouldn’t work without its Christmas backdrop. Christmas is a time for family and poor Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), though wise beyond his years, is all alone.
Though everyone rightly remembers it for Kevin’s suburban Vietcong booby-traps and slapstick robber-bashing, it’s a film held together by moments of pure heart – from the desperation of Mrs. McCallister trying to get home to her son, to old Marley’s heartfelt conversation about his estranged son. It all makes that final moment where Kevin is reunited with him mum all the more triumphant.
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