Don’t love Love Actually? Think It’s A Wonderful Life makes your life a little less wonderful? Are you just sick of watching the same things over and over again in the holiday season?
Here, in no particular order, is a list of niche, neglected, or perfectly anti-Christmas films to watch this December:
1. The Chronicles of Narnia
No, not the epically-scored, cutting-edge CGI’d masterpiece from 2005. I’m talking the dingy, made-for-TV BBC Narnia from 1988, where Aslan looks like a toy you’d win at a fairground. Keep your Tilda Swinton in Alexander McQueen – this version features fully-grown adults in beaver suits:
It’s also a proper series, so you can extend your Narnia enjoyment by several books, including Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Silver Chair.
2. The Snowman (with David Bowie intro)
Tears. Streaming down. Even if you don’t suffer from crippling nostalgia for The Snowman and/or the late great David Bowie, this animated film and its soundtrack are specifically designed to make you feel a special kind of melancholy. Enjoy the heartache.
3. Swiss Family Robinson
Your classic grainy 60s adventure film, complete with wholesome, ruddy-cheeked American kids, a couple of dogs, and slightly worrying portrayals of ‘exotic’ lands and people. Bonus points for the ‘boy’ they encounter with great survival skills who – OMG – is actually a girl!!! Cue my impulse to crossdress for at least the next three years.
This has made it into the Christmas list because of the family’s makeshift celebration in the tropics – a seven-year-old’s dream. Watch it here:
4. Rosemary’s Baby
The ultimate Anti-Christmas film. Literally climaxing in the birth of the Antichrist. If you’re a bit of a Grinch, pitch this to the family. It’s also a beautifully made thriller that should be watched anyway, so tell them that they’re being educated.
5. The Muppets’ Christmas Carol
This gem of a Muppets Movie is sorely neglected. Michael Caine stars as Scrooge, the perfect foil to Kermit, Ms. Piggy, and the gang. It’s the Muppets – you can’t go wrong.
6. Batman Returns
A Tim Burton film infinitely superior to his more popular Nightmare Before Christmas. Michael Keaton plays Batman opposite a fantastic Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer), a vengeful Penguin (Danny Devito), and a slimy be-suited Christopher Walken (he always plays himself). Christmas decorations are used in battle, so it can go on the list.
7. Call Me Claus
I don’t know that much about this – all I know is that it stars Whoopi Goldberg, and that she becomes Santa Claus. It also may or may not feature a romance between Whoopi and Santa Claus – when she is not Santa Claus and someone else is, obviously, or that would be weird. It went straight to TV. Watch it.