11 Holiday Films That Haven't Been Totally Ruined by the Holidays

Categories: Film and TV

7.) The Nightmare Before Christmas

Hey, Tim Burton: You got Halloween in my Christmas. Or is it vice versa? Either way, this stop-motion masterpiece proves that children's holiday tales don't need to be caked in red and green sugar to hit their mark. Spooky and haunting and stylistically righteous, this movie proves that a little pumpkin spice can counterbalance all of that peppermint.

6.) Less Than Zero

Based on the Brett Easton Ellis novel, Less Than Zero is the black diamond of holiday films. Dark, hard, cold, angular and seductive, it holds you in the near-vomit spin of ultra-posh '80s LA. It sits alone on the Christmas video rack, like a pink, pre-lit tinsel tree surrounded by a field of natural-born Douglas firs. It's seedy, crushing and raw, and is set around a holiday reunion gone wrong.


5.) Edward Scissorhands
Remember when Winona Ryder used her crazy eyes for good instead of evil? Like back in the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp/Danny Elfman heyday? This is that time, and is possibly the very best film Burton has ever brought us. Estranged from society as an unfinished project, Edward has a lot of love to give. But will he find the suburbs receptive to his desire for inclusion? It's going to take a lot of Avon products to make that happen.

4.) Planes Trains and Automobiles

No matter how many times those Hollywood execs try to remake the ol' "Gotta get home for the holidays, and I'm stuck with this slob" plot angle, it falls flat. Of course it does; it's already been done perfectly by Steve Martin and John Candy. The ultimate straightman to Candy's boorish salesman, Martin is all-consumed with making it home for Thanksgiving dinner. But as any holiday traveler knows, those best-laid plans are often coupled with explosions, burglaries and three-day adventures.

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13 comments
planecrazy
planecrazy

Yeah Jamie, it may not be for the youth of the world, but Bad Santa has to be in there somewhere for us dirty birds.  Not too many movies make me laugh out loud.  This is one of them.

therrick
therrick

Christmas Vacation blows.

wrw22
wrw22

Elf sucks.  Elf will always suck.  And where was Bad Santa?

Willie
Willie

J-H Christ, who vetted this list?.  Home for the Holidays and A Christmas Story are timeless.

Yehoodi
Yehoodi

True, these films don't actually suck but they make for a very lackluster list of mediocrities and nostalgia-ridden comfort-videos. Maybe you can graduate to 11 films that are okay but nothing special next holiday. Baby steps! 

GavinCleaver
GavinCleaver

No Muppet Christmas Carol?! Are you insane?

Jamie_L.
Jamie_L.

 @wrw22 Bad Santa and The Ref are alternates, but all lists need a cut-off point. Why do you hate Elf?

Jamie_L.
Jamie_L.

 @Willie I gotta disagree, Willie. A Christmas Story has been overdone. It isn't fun anymore.

Jamie_L.
Jamie_L.

 @Yehoodi I have a tough time classifying the Always Sunny Xmas special or Less Than Zero as comfort videos, or nostalgia-ridden. Charlie bites Santa's throat open and Robert Downey Jr is whored out for drug repayment before dying in the desert.

wrw22
wrw22

 @Jamie_L. It's my own fault for hating Elf.  I went in expecting a goofy Will Ferrell comedy and ended up with a sweetly saccharine X-Mas mush-fest.  Bah!

Yehoodi
Yehoodi

@Jamie_L. @Yehoodi I'll give you 'Almost Sunny...' as I have not seen it. Otherwise, Less Than Zero is just ghastly-car-crash-junk-food-movie-nostalgia along the lines of Mommy Dearest or Can't Stop the Music. Throw in something like Eyes Wide Shut to give your list a whiff of mystery. 

Jamie_L.
Jamie_L.

@Yehoodi @Jamie_L. I dunno. I really like Less Than Zero. And honestly, I did not care for Eyes Wide Shut. Just didn't.

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