Alternative Christmas films are perfect for the Scrooges amongst us, allowing our loved ones to indulge in a Christmas themed flick while we focus on the parts that turn all festive conventions on their head. However, these unique Christmas films are also ideal for those of us who are obsessed with the season and want to get into the spirit of things early, but don’t want to suffer from festive fatigue before the 25th of December even arrives.
So whether you’re a ‘die hard’ Christmas fan, or you are already done with the festivities but need to appease your family with a Christmas film, read on.
Die Hard (1988)
There couldn’t be a list of the best unconventional Christmas movies without mentioning Die Hard. It’s a question we hear every year: “Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?” and we’d answer that it undoubtedly is! Set in a Christmas party on Christmas Eve, could it get more festive?
John McClane, played by Bruce Willis, confronts a group of terrorists who have kidnapped several hostages in the exclusive high rise where he was partying. This action film contains lots of Christmassy references and is good enough to watch throughout the year.
One of the original scary Christmas movies, Gremlins is set at Christmastime and follows a gadget salesman who, after acquiring a special gift for his son, accidentally creates a gang of gremlins who cause havoc. The wintery surroundings and set make this a definite contender for the best unconventional Christmas movie.
Bad Santa (2003)
This is a hilarious dark comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton as Willie, a mall Santa, and his elf sidekick who meet every winter to rip off shopping centres. The film shows Willie has fallen apart and is a depressed alcoholic, with his unpredictable behaviour putting him at risk of being found out by the mall security. However, after befriending a small boy, he begins to believe that there is more hope for him, as his kinder side is brought out.
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
While many people would classify this more as a Halloween film, it can also fall into the Christmas category. The story follows Jack Skellington of Halloweentown, who, after getting sick of his yearly rituals, stumbles upon Christmastown and plans to take it over by kidnapping Santa Claus. This definitely isn’t a traditional festive flick, but it has enough Christmassy references to make it an acceptable watch throughout the winter.
Office Christmas Party (2016)
Office Christmas Party is a great standalone comedy, and you would be forgiven for watching it at any point throughout the year. With a great cast, the film shows the chaos of an office Christmas party getting severely out of hand when the CEO of the company, played by Jennifer Aniston, tries to close the branch. This supercharged festive flick has an array of unexpected tomfoolery, such as car chases, Christmas tree jousting and falling vending machines.
The Night Before (2015)
The Night Before follows three lifelong friends, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie, who realise that their annual Christmas tradition is coming to an end after ten years. They decide to make it as memorable as possible and plan a night of craziness, searching for the best Christmas parties New York has to offer.
Black Christmas (1974)
Black Christmas is a Canadian slasher that is sure to be an interesting watch this Christmas season, for those who aren’t interested in the classic Christmas film formula. A group of sorority girls are enjoying their Christmas break when they are stalked by a stranger, who has the aim to kill each one of them.
This comedy-drama is definitely a quirky choice to watch this Christmas. It follows a Transgender sex worker called Sin-Dee Rella, who, after finishing a 28-day jail sentence, spends Christmas Eve searching for her Pimp ex-boyfriend that broke her heart. The movie was filmed entirely with three iPhone 5s smartphones, which gives the film an extremely unique feel.
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