Christmas time is upon us and that means movies galore, and all types of movies at that. Nothing says Christmas quite like a movie about a Germanic demonic St. Nicholas that punishes people for losing their Christmas spirit. Krampus is the movie I’m talking about, a lovely horror comedy with quite the large cast of dysfunctional characters that make even the craziest of families seem sane come this time of year. Krampus is a blast to watch and takes place around the Engel family and their struggle, and it is a struggle, to survive the assault of Krampus, his elves, and his demonic toys. Krampus is just the right amount of horror that makes you leery of any of the presents you see in it or noises you hear but the comedy is there to ease the tension at a right time that it also makes you sorta forget that this is supposed to be a horror movie until something comes out to kill another victim. I urge many people to give this movie a chance if they like to step out of the norm of Christmas as the movie is quite stunning when you see the costumes of Krampus and his elves. It’s my favorite Christmas movie because of the legend around Krampus, the sheer horror campiness of it all and the fact that it has murderous gingerbread men as well.
My favorite Christmas movie is, not DIE HARD, but A YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS. I always have fond memories of the Rankin and Bass stop motion Christmas movies: Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming To Town, etc, but this movie stands out because of a few things: the iconic and catchy music, the great visuals, and the moral behind the story. At twenty years old, I can still hum the tune to “He’s Mister Snow Miser”, and “He’s Mister Heat Miser” by memory alone. I appreciate the stop motion, from the time around the nineteen sixties, as it is smooth and obviously took some time to create this film. However, this film elevates Santa Claus into more than just a man, but something that we all can aspire to be: a symbol for caring, loving, and giving to one another.
My favorite holiday movie has been and will always be “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. It was never intended to be just a Halloween movie, as intended with the Christmas tie in, but it has a really good story mixed with love, passion and hatred. I was only 8 when the movie came out and it is as entertaining for me now, being 33, as it was back then. The entire soundtrack is catchy as hell as I busted out the bluetooth speaker at work, singing along with weird looks from customers and employees alike. From “This is Halloween” to “What’s This?” it’s one of the very few soundtracks that I go back to when I’m needing background noise while I’m cleaning the house. (The other being Batman Forever with “Kiss from a Rose” by Seal and “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me”.) Overall this is a movie I would recommend again and again and at least a watch two days out of the year.
This is an odd time for me. I’ve outgrown the giddy feeling of anticipation associated with Christmas morning. My seasonal depression is slowly fading with each passing year. I really don’t feel compelled to be around people, much less family, around this time of year. But this isn’t about how I feel. No, it’s about what I watch (or used to watch). I grew up before cell phone downloads and cable television. We had THREE networks! From them, I would get to see the (now) classics like Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, and many other stop motion and animated specials. You miss it and they reshow it the next year. It was something to look forward to seeing. something special. The exception being the Star Wars Christmas Special, which aired once and never again.
I outgrew those old chestnuts and wouldn’t have a “go-to” until Doctor Who’s reboot and its broadcast of Christmas episodes. Those too, it seems, are now gone as well. I do try to get with friends each year, to counter my depression and feelings of isolation, and watch Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale with them. It’s a quirky film about the origin of where Mall Santas really come from. You owe it to yourself to watch it. Especially around this time of year.