There are about three trillion holiday movies out there, give or take, so when you’re looking for something to watch, the choices can be overwhelming. We know the feeling, so here are some of our choices, for whatever mood may strike you.
IF YOU WANT SOME YULETIDE FEAR
Watch P2, which follows a woman trying to get home from work on Christmas Eve, only to find herself trapped in a parking garage with a deranged admirer. With no one else around, she has to use her wits to try and escape. If she gets out unscathed, it’ll be a Christmas miracle! Rated R.
IF YOU WANT SOMETHING A LITTLE NUTTY
Try The Nuttiest Nutcracker! Okay, this one is a little strange—a very loose adaptation of The Nutcracker, where most of the characters are produce, including Cheech Marin as Mac the Macadamia Nut. It’s a late nineties computer generated movie, so the animation looks particularly cheesy now, but that’s a feature, not a flaw. Watch it because of the weirdness. Rated G.
IF YOU’RE ALL ABOUT TINY TERRORS WRECKING CHRISTMAS
Gremlins is for you! A teenage boy gets a new fuzzy pet with very specific rules on how to care for it. The rules are inevitably broken, leading to a swarm of little monsters turning the town upside down. Rated PG, but was one of the movies which lead to the PG-13 rating being created, so might not be appropriate for all kids—scenes like the one where a Gremlin is microwaved may be too scary or gory.
IF YOU LOVE A MUSICAL
1954’s White Christmas will make you sing. A couple of Broadway producers and a pair of singing sisters end up at an inn which is in financial trouble. Together, they decide to help bring in a crowd and save the place, all while becoming romantically entangled. It’s best known for Bing Crosby’s performance, most notably of his classic holiday song, “White Christmas.” It’s unrated, but it’s appropriate for all ages.
IF NOTHING MAKES YOU JOLLY LIKE AN ACTION MOVIE
Pick up the ultimate Christmas action movie, Die Hard. An office Christmas party is crashed by a group of European terrorists, lead by Alan Rickman in his first movie role, and the only person who can stop them is Bruce Willis’s John McClain, an off-duty cop. It’s the perfect action movie and a perfect holiday movie. Its sequel, Die Hard 2, is also set at Christmas time and is a solid action movie, if not as amazing as the first. Both movies are rated R.
IF YOU LOVE THE CLASSICS
Stick with the original The Year Without A Santa Claus. Santa thinks that no one cares about Christmas anymore, so he decides to take a year off. Mrs. Claus and his elves decide to go to great lengths to show him that it’s not true. The stop-motion animation style is classic and fun, the songs are delightful, and the story sticks with you. The other Rankin/Bass stop-motion holiday specials deserve a shout out, with Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer deserving your attention. They’re unrated, but appropriate for all ages.
IF YOU’RE LEFT ALONE FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Set out your traps and watch Home Alone. Macauly Culkin stars as Kevin McCallister, a boy accidentally left at home over the holidays who has to protect his house against a pair of bandits determined to rob it. If you’re one of the two people who haven’t watched it yet, then you really need to, as it’s fun, hilarious, and ultimately heartwarming. The sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, is more of the same but still a lot of fun. The other sequels—not so much. Both movies are rated PG.