Saturday, 26 December 2015

5 Christmas Films That Aren’t Very Christmassy

There are a lot of films out there that take place during the festive season, but don’t really do anything to identify as Christmas films. We’re going to have a look at a few of these, and see what we could do to make them more festive.

Jurassic World

When the young Gray and Zach are at the airport about to leave their snowy home for the tropical Isla Nubla, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” plays. One can only assume this is done to strengthen the contrast between their cold, white home-life and the luscious green jungle they’re headed for. But there is absolutely no further reference to Christmas in the film. Weird. Do they not celebrate Christmas at Jurassic World? Why are there no decorations up? Too busy fucking with nature and creating genetically-engineered dinosaurs probably, the bastards.

How to make it more Christmassy – the film plays out like a Jurassic Park Holiday Special, with the dinosaurs performing a festive variety show and learning the true meaning of Christmas. Indominus Rex is particularly opposed to the festive season but the raptors and ol’ T-Rex convince him otherwise, as snow falls over Isla Nublar.

Jurassic World at CeX

Iron Man 3

Being directed by Lethal Weapon’s Shane Black, a man who always sets his films at Christmas, Iron Man 3 follows this tradition. But why? It adds nothing to the plot. It is purely for Shane Black’s tradition to live on. That’s great n’ all, but it makes for a throwaway setting that just made me question why. But don’t panic, ladies and gentlemen. I have an idea of how we can make Iron Man 3 a Christmas film for the ages.
How to make it more Christmassy – Ben Kingsley’s villain The Mandarin is in fact an angry terrorist Santa Claus, bitter about his festive workload. It’s up to Iron Man to remind him what Christmas is all about, through wise-cracking and general Robert Downey Jr-isms. Maybe we even get a MCU crossover scene in which we see the Avengers Christmas party, which Santa attends. He gets pissed and forgets his troubles. Everybody’s happy.

Iron Man 3 at CeX

Batman Returns

Despite being released in June as one of 1992’s summer blockbusters, Batman Returns takes place at Christmas. It has a rather good sequence involving Gotham’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which descends into riot. But it isn’t a Christmas film. The festive setting seems almost coincidental, and certainly inconsequential. I suppose they just needed a cold setting for The Penguin to be able to wreak havoc in. I can’t imagine him waddling around in a Gotham heatwave…

How to make it more Christmassy – in the style of It’s A Wonderful Life, Batman decides to hang up his cape in a sort of superhero-suicide but his guardian angel Alfred shows him how bad Gotham would’ve been if he hadn’t been there to defend it. He realises he’d be wrong to give up and continues saving the day. This culminates in a big festive sing-song around the Gotham Christmas tree. Alfred quietly mutters to himself “my work here is done” and flies into the sky, heading for another galaxy that needs his help. Too much?

Batman Returns at CeX


Sure, Gizmo is a Christmas gift. The town is very festive. A few Gremlins sing Christmas carols. But outside of this, it’s more of a creature-feature horror meets 80s comedy. Sure it needs the winter setting for the quiet, snowy streets that the Gremlins run amok on. But does it need to be Christmas? Why not just early December?! How can we make this one a Christmas film, I hear you cry…

How to make it more Christmassy – A Gremlin Christmas Carol. Gizmo is Bob Cratchitt, Spike is Ebeneezer Scrooge. I leave the rest to your imagination. If the Muppets can do it, so can Gremlins!

Gremlins at CeX

Die Hard

The all-time classic non-Christmas Christmas film. There is no doubt that Die Hard is one of the finest action films in cinema history. But is it a Christmas film? Sure, it’s set at Christmas. But it has none of the cliché holiday cheer and Christmas spirit. While the debate will live on forever as to whether or not it’s a Christmas film, I have an idea of how we can definitely make it one.

How to make it more Christmassy – Change John McClane to Santa Claus, Nakatomi Plaza to the North Pole and the terrorists to radicalised elves. I call it Mince Pie Hard. I’m here all week.

Die Hard at CeX

Sam Love

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