I’ve been having fun this holiday season finding ways to make it a little more spooky and Halloween-esque. But, as you guys know well by now, I’m not much of an expert when it comes to movies, much less spooky Christmas movies. So when Katie from SeatUp emailed me and asked if she could share a few with you guys in a guest post, I was thrilled to welcome her to the blog! I hope you enjoy her recommendations.
7 Spooky Christmas Movie Alternatives
Neutralizing the Saccharine of the Season
By Katie Porter, seatup.com
Christmas is a time for giving, and a time for receiving; a time for eating and a time for drinking; and time to share with friends and family. It’s the ultimate recipe for togetherness.
And an ingredients list for disaster.
All that good, clean, wholesome stuff really does need a little off-setting; for fear that we’ll turn into twee, twinkly cupcakes that rot your teeth and plunge you into a sugar coma.
Christmas, thankfully, is equally associated with ghost-stories; dramatic Christmas day disasters and visitations from the dead.
The ultimate Christmassy spook-fest, of course, is A Christmas Carol. When Dickens first presented the manuscript for publication, nobody wanted it: there was little interest in this non-event known as Christmas. How things have changed.
So, to avoid growing fat from the sickly saccharine of the traditional Christmas movie (complete with yukky happy-ending and kids so cute they practically implode with loveliness), we’ve had a root through our DVD collection, and come up with the perfect alternative Christmas movies – guaranteed as a fast-acting antidote to all that gross yumminess.
I mean, there’s only so much Love Actually you can take!
I’m not sure if there’s a more unexpected switch from the cutesy opening of this film, to the hilarious, delinquent monsters that emerge to well and truly dump all over Christmas.
From the super-cute Furby: Gizmo; to the cigar-chugging, blues-digging, booze-and-women obsessed gremlins that pop out at the mere suggestion of a little drizzle and a midnight feast, this is one movie that hits home with humor and more than a little death and disaster.
Gremlins has totally stood the test of time and continues to be a Christmas classic that needs no grinch to ruin what was going to be the most yawn-inducing holiday season ever.
Die Hard (1988)
If there’s a better action thriller than the curse-fest that we know and love as Die Hard, I’m not sure I’m aware of one. Christmas eve goes rather badly wrong for John McClane and his gang of smug New York party-goers, all providing the ideal backdrop for Bruce Willis’s original foray into action-hero territory.
The late, great Alan Rickman plays the ultimate super-evil, mega kick-ass, super-brain baddie; making sure that this is one Christmas Eve that’s set to skip the turkey, and opt for dead guys served on a holly-laden platter instead.
In my opinion, the Die Hard franchise grew rather tired rather quickly (more Try Harder, than Die Harder). Thankfully, none of the later abominations detracted from the brilliance of the original, that took the traditional Christmas stocking and stuffed it full of volatile combustibles.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Is it a Christmas movie, or does it just have tons of snow in it? The presence of the white stuff, as far as I’m concerned, certainly makes this a firm contender for alternative Christmas viewing.
Edward Scissorhands is a bizarre fable. Starring a young Jonny Depp in the titular role, and a wide-eyed Winona Ryder as the unlikely love interest, this was the movie that exploded the disability myth with a perfectly bonkers vignette of a world struggling to contain itself in the stifling pastels of the little boxes of a utopian suburbia.
The classic tale of lonely fruit-loop creating a real boy to call his imprisoned son, Edward escapes the strings of his creator to discover a world at the bottom of the hill that makes him want to run back to the safety of the asylum.
Faced with the prejudice of ignorant bullies, the seduction from bored housewives hiding beneath layers of foundation and concealer, and the love of a girl confused by feelings towards this man unlike any other, Edward soon discovers that utopia is over-rated.
And does one. Wouldn’t you?!
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The ultimate Halloween / Christmas cross-over, and another from the dark anthology of Tim Burton. The Nightmare Before Christmas is the upside-down tale of Jake Skellington who lives in Halloween Town but discovers a portal through to Christmas Town. Like you do.
If musicals are your thing, this movie combines some perfectly dissonant, angular, difficult-to-sing-along-to melodic lines, with some of the most memorably ghoulish Christmas scenes that you’re ever likely to stumble upon.
If the grandiose and grotesque is your thing, The Nightmare Before Christmas will eliminate all of the falsehood of Christmas cheer and replace it with a healthy serving of cutesy murderers, demons, and ghouls.
If your appetite is for something on the jumpier side of horror, you absolutely have to watch Krampus this holiday season.
Krampus is a comedy-horror based on Scandinavian myth, created to destroy the most fervent believer in Santa Claus. If nothing else, it will make you think twice about inviting relatives over to share in the joint agony of a tight-lipped Christmas dinner.
Max has a super-crappy Christmas and vows to denounce the Christmas spirit forever, accidentally unleashing a festive demon into the home. And this fun, holiday comedy takes a decided turn to the dark side, in a very entertaining slasher romp, starring the eternally wonderful Toni Collette as the put-upon mother, Sarah.
There are some marvelously hilarious one-liners in the opening act of this movie –
“It looks like Martha Steward threw up in here” is one of my particular favorites.
There’s a huge amount to love in this ridiculous romp of bad cheer. If you’re about to slip into a Christmas coma, this is just the jolt you’ve been looking for.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
If you’re looking for something that goes for the oddness jugular with thorough gusto, then Eyes Wide Shut is a movie that features the most Christmassy orgies you’re ever going to come across.
Pair that with the on-screen “chemistry” of a crumbling Cruise and Kidman, and a generous spattering of inappropriate opioid abuse, and you have a perfect evening’s Christmas car-crash to keep you away from the straight and narrow.
If only Christmas trees could talk – they witness enough subversion to send them into therapy until their very last needle has hit the ground, in this bizarro Christmas flick. The poor things. And they’re supposed to jolly-up the room!
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
The 80s loved a good slasher movie, and the Silent Night, Deadly Night series provided more of the red stuff than Santa’s uniform. And it just so happens that Santa has quite an edge, with a blood-lust as insatiable as his appetite for mince pies and sherry.
For any adult who suffered a child-hood Santa-phobia, this series of wonderfully trashy slashers will be enough to get you bricking up the chimney, burning the Christmas tree and stuffing the presents in the trashcan.
So, there we have it. Chuck away the mistletoe, sling out the Santa costumes and slam the door in the faces of those carolers.
Tuck yourself up and enjoy the bizarre, the horrific and the downright twisted – movies that you absolutely won’t see on The Christmas Channel.
Merry un-Christmas, y’all.
Katie Porter is an aspiring writer, movie lover and part of the team at Seatup. In her free time, she enjoys exploring her home state Colorado and plays in women’s amateur rugby league.
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