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Alternative Christmas Films

Alternative Christmas Films

Christmas films are such an important part of the festive period. It’s a nice way for the whole family to get together, keep the kids occupied, they can be the perfect way to spend a romantic evening or just simply a great way to escape the madness of the holidays for a few hours. If you’re a bit fed up watching the same movies each year, here’s a few suggestions you might like to check out.

In Bruges (2008)

Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play Ray and Ken, assassins who, after a job goes wrong, head to Bruges (“it’s in Belgium”) and await further instructions from their boss, played by Ralph Fiennes. Dark, witty humour from writer and director Martin McDonagh set at Christmas time in a fairy-tale city. It may not have too many mentions of Christmas but if Colin Farrell Karate-chopping a racist dwarf doesn’t put you in a merry mood then I don’t know what will.


Batman Returns (1992)

Twas the dark knight before Christmas. Tim Burton brings the holiday season to Gotham as only he could. Michael Keaton dons the cowl as batman for the second time as he tries to save the city from a variety of villains. Iconic performances from Danny DeVito as Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman have made this a classic comic book film while the snowy, cold, decorated streets of Gotham make it feel like Christmas.  Much darker and more violent than Tim Burton’s first Batmanmovie, it doesn’t live up to the expectations of its predecessor but is definitely worth a watch.


American Psycho (2000)

Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, this is not exactly your usual festive feelgood flick but it does take place, at least partially, over Christmas. Christian Bale puts in an incredibly chilling performance as Patrick Bateman, a well-educated, intelligent, successful 27-year-old, working on Wall Street. Oh, and he’s also a heartless, soulless serial killer. Add some Christmas trees, a Santa hat, Christian Bale in some reindeer antlers and a pig called Snowball and you’ve got one hell of a Christmas film, although this is not one for the whole family to enjoy.


Harry Potter and the Incredibly Successful Franchise (2001-2011)

Okay, these aren’t actually Christmas films but Harry, Hermione and Ron do seem to get up to a lot on their winter break from Hogwarts and the castle does look incredibly festive when its covered in snow and the great hall is fully decorated. The Harry Potter franchise will forever be associated with the festive holiday and you’re guaranteed to find all eight films on the television over the next few weeks. They’re the perfect movies for the whole family to binge watch. So, grab a butterbeer and a few packets of Bertie Bott’s every flavour beans and enjoy some magical adventures.


Rocky IV (1985)

A new challenger has entered the ring. Standing at six-foot-four and weighing 261 pounds, representing the USSR, its Ivan Drago. Played by Dolph Lundgren, Drago is Rocky’s latest opponent. Rocky must travel to the USSR to avenge the death of Apollo Creed, who died during a match with Drago. But what makes this a Christmas film? Well the big fight is on the 25th of December and the ridiculously long training montage in the snowy mountains will have you dreaming of a white Christmas.


Just Friends (2005)

If you’re looking for a light hearted Christmassy romcom look no further. Chris (Ryan Reynolds) and Jamie (Amy Smart) were really good friends but when he decides he wants more than friendship; Jamie tells him she wants to be “just friends.” Years later Chris is a successful music manager who has everything he has ever wanted but a trip back home for Christmas and a chance reunion with Jamie makes him realise he may not have it all. And if that doesn’t sound like your thing, it has Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit and who doesn’t want to see that.


Shazam! (2019)

Just in time for Christmas, Billy Batson finds a nice foster family to live with but all he’s interested in is finding his real mother. He finds a lot more than he bargained for when an act of kindness and bravery leads to him being granted super powers by a wizard. These powers allow him to turn into a superhero, played brilliantly by Zachary Levi. At first its all fun and games as he tests out his new found abilities but soon an evil villain shows up and he must save his new family from certain doom. A genuinely funny, heart-warming superhero movie that manages to capture the magic of the festive period.


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