Wondering what to watch this Christmas Eve? We’ve put our heads together to bring you a small list of viewing suggestions to get you in the spirit of Christmas:
Die Hard (1988)
By Luke Compton
“What’s the best Christmas movie?” they ask every year, and Die Hard is my pretentious answer every time. It’s difficult not to give this answer as it’s a perfect film, and people really don’t give it enough credit as a festive film. Often disregarded for its arguable lack of feel good quality, Die Hard also refuses to utilise Christmas to tell a tale of childish delight. However, subsequently, the amazing John McClane (Bruce Willis) continually makes reference to his unlucky situation taking place on Christmas Eve. His mission to get back to his estranged wife during Yuletide is upset by a group of terrorists, forcing him to become a one-man army. It’s such great fun, and it’s worthy of being in anyone’s top 25 list. Willis is on top form and his character is perfect, complete with a great blend of charisma, humour and likability. Of course, the rest of the cast is fantastic too – notably Alan Rickman as the evil Hans Gruber. Above all, the film goes barebones to frequently entertain, becoming one a definitive action movie. And how can Die Hard be mentioned without pinpointing the dark humour? “NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN… HO-HO-HO!”
By Maisie Anderson
Much like Die Hard, Gremlins is not your traditional Christmas film and in fact, many people forget that it’s based around Christmas at all. Following Billy (Zach Galligan) who receives Gizmo the Mogwai as a gift from his parents, the film is a cult classic which combines action, comedy, horror and romance. Soon, Billy’s town of Kingston Falls turns into a hotbed of evil, demonic gremlins and it’s up to Billy and Gizmo to save the day. If you like cheesy 80s movies starring the likes of Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates – also known for her iconic performance in Drop Dead Fred – then you will love Gremlins. Beware, however, as this family film might terrify the younger viewer with fantastical gore, horrible hijinks and jump scares galore. But with this in mind, nothing quite possesses you with festive cheer like some good old fashioned carnage!
Love Actually (2003)
By Anna Richards
Being the king of romantic comedies, Richard Curtis brought the festive Love Actually to cinema screens back in the early noughties. Continuing to have endless charm and appeal over a decade later, the film follows 9 very different interweaving lives, all connected through the wonders of love. Portraying a bumbling newly elected Prime Minister, Hugh Grant falls for his junior staffer (Martine McCutcheon). Meanwhile, Colin Firth plays a recently heartbroken writer who falls for Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz), his Portuguese housekeeper who speaks only in her native tongue. However, the film is really made by Emma Thompson’s heartbreak as she discovers that her husband, Alan Rickman, has developed a fancy for his new secretary.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
By Ryan Keen
When the founder of a puppet phenomenon sadly passes away after years of hard work, what do the rest of his crew do to honour him? They take one of the most well-known Christmas tales of all time and get his son to transform it into a feature film classic. Brian Henson was 28 when his father passed away and as a result, he and the rest of The Muppets team worked tirelessly to carry on Jim Henson’s legacy. They slaved away to create something that would honour him and his greatest creations. The end product, as always, revolves around Kermit – a character that embraces the highs and lows of life, much like his creator. The counterbalanced perspective of life – viewed through the eyes of a fuzzy, green frog – makes Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol a fitting tribute to the life and work of Jim Henson.
A cold-hearted man who must learn the error of his ways before his lonely future comes to life, Michael Caine treats The Muppets as equals and forces a performance that makes every child cry. A wiser-than-life Gonzo narrates the story, as helped by trusty pal Rizzo the Rat, and catchy songs feature throughout – the catchiest sung by Statler and Waldorf, the two grumps hell-bent on trying to ruin every show for The Muppets. There isn’t a dry eye in sight when this film finishes, nor is there a bad word to say about it. Michael Caine was halfway through filming before realising that this was Brian Henson’s directorial debut, and it’s understandable as to why he was so surprised.