6 Alternative Films To Watch This Christmas
It's cold and dark out, Christmas lights are beginning to appear, and your wardrobes are starting to fill with secret gifts. Getting in the festive spirit is a process and I always find a range of great films can bring a little excitement and joy into your home.
Of course we all know Elf, The Santa Clause and The Muppets Christmas Carol, amongst many more, but I want to introduce you to some of the films that grace my telly at this time of year that I find woefully under watched. Here are my top films to get you ready for the jolly fat man.
Bill Murray at his best and, kind of most dislikeable. An 80s take on the classic Scrooge story with Murray an all-powerful TV exec. It's brash, rough and has the best ghost of Christmas present ever. If you've not seen it you're well in for treat with full angry Murray humour and and classic lines you'll wonder how you lived without.
Best bit: Mouse, antler, and the disgruntled costume tech. A small moment but so perfect.
Trading Places (1983)
Another acerbic film about the 80s super rich with a brilliant Dan Aykroyd and peak Eddie Murphy. It's a great film about someone who loses it all and someone who gains it all thanks to the whims of the super-rich. Setting it against the background of Christmas makes the story even better. It will feel bleak, but it'll also make you feel pretty great. Especially if you skip the bit with Aykroyd in black face...
Best bit: The baddies get theirs. It's a long time coming and very satisfying.
Arthur Christmas (2011)
It breaks my heart more people don't know about this film. It's a kids film from Aardman with incredible jokes, a great story, and a happy ending that will warm your festive soul. Arthur is a nerdy worrier who is a bit of joke to everyone at the North Pole who becomes the hero we all deserve. With James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton in the cast, you know you're in for a good time.
Best bit: Grandsanta.
Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists (2012)
Like Arthur Christmas, this is an animated film from Aardman, so you know the humour is really flipping good. Hugh Grant is hilarious as The Pirate Captain and the entire story is odd, silly and unexpected. It's a truly joyful, adventurous romp with a brilliant group of characters, including a great ship's parrot / dodo.
Best bit: Killer Queen Victoria - just go with it.
The Adventures Of Tintin (2011)
Live-action animated Tintin is not like any other animated film out there. Every character is a cartoon but moves and acts like a real person. It gives the whole world an amazingly magical feel and takes away that uncanny feeling that a lot of animated films can have. It's silly, serious and thoroughly enjoyable. Jaime bell and Andy Serkis head up the unrecognisable cast and they play off each other brilliantly.
Best bit: A one-shot chase scene through a town. Brilliant stuff.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
This film always leaves me with a slight uncomfortable feeling because it scared me as a child, but even while scared, I couldn't stop watching the surreal, dark love story unfold. A classic Burton, it's a great alternative to The Nightmare Before Christmas and reminds you why he's become as popular as he has in recent years.
Best bit: The scary and daring haircuts scene.
I haven't actually seen Krampus, but it's on my list this year as I love a horror film and don't have a single one on this list. The cast looks great, with Toni Collette and Adam Scott in the leads. The film looks a mix of good scare-gore horror and tongue-in-cheek frights from a film aware that it's about a demonic Christmas goat.
Best bit: It's about a demonic Christmas goat, and just look at those angry gingerbread men.
What Christmas films do you love that never get the attention they deserve?