It’s that time of year again… most of us will have our Christmas Trees up, we would have consumed our body weight in mince pies and there’s some of us who have been fortunate enough to already be enjoying their festive break from the office. So, when you’ve had enough of festive cheer or rushing about to finish that Christmas shop, us Vulcans believe that one of the best ways to celebrate the season is to kick back with a drink or two whilst watching a Christmas film.
As always, in a world of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Now TV and other on-demand services, we’re really spoilt for choice. So, if you’re one of the 11.5 million households in the UK who have spent the last 30 minutes trying to decide what to watch this Christmas, we’ve reached out to the Vulcan hive mind asking for recommendations on what you should watch. Go grab yourself another drink and mull over some of our recommendations for 10 Of Our Favourite Must See Christmas Movies:
Our first recommendation comes from Ed Dyson who is a massive fan of the Ron Howard vehicle, The Grinch. Now arguably one of the best adaptations of the iconic Christmas character, this installment sees Jim Carey take on the titular role that’s equal parts hearts as it is youthful fun. As Grinch, Carey outshines everyone in this film and clearly has a lot of fun doing so! When asked why The Grinch was his favourite Christmas film, Ed replied “It’s how I feel as an adult working in retail until Xmas day when I begin to enjoy it.”
Jingle All the Way is our next recommendation from our very own Matt Littler. The Schwarzenegger delivers another comedic performance in this festive hit where he plays family man who vows to get his son the most popular action figure for Christmas… on Christmas Eve. With every store sold out of the doll he is forced to travel all over town to locate the toy in a race against time. When asked why Jingle All the Way was his favourite Christmas film, Matt replied “It has action, heart, negligent father who later redeems himself, and like all good films feels like one giant commercial.”
We would have never seen this one coming but the next recommendation comes in the form of Deck the Halls. In it Matthew Broderick and Danny Devito face off after one of them decorates their house for the holidays so brightly that it can be seen from space. Are you team Finch (Matthew Broderick) or team Hall (Danny Devito)? Either way it’s got 5.0 rating on IMDB so make of that what you will. When asked why Deck the Halls is Ciaron’s favourite Christmas Movie, he replied “I’m a big fan of Devito and the plot is just so daft and ridiculous you can’t help but laugh.”
Our next recommendation is 100% one of the best Christmas films out there. Sure, it might not be your grandmother’s taste, but as a gateway horror with enough festive cheer to put you in a seasonal mood, you can’t do much better than Gremlins! From the mind of the hugely talented Joe Dante, Gremlins sees Zach Galligan break three important rules concerning his new pet and in the process unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. When asked why Gremlins is one of his favourite Christmas films, Tom replied “lots of nostalgia for me, I’ve watched it every Christmas since I was 10.”
Our next recommendation takes us back to the late 1940s for the iconic festive favourite, It’s a Wonderful Life. Directed by Frank Capra the movie tells the story of an angel who is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. Scoring an impressive 8.6 on IMDb, It’s a Wonderful Life was nominated for 5 Oscars and continues to be a firm favourite of audiences worldwide. When asked why It’s a Wonderful Life is his favourite Christmas movie, Glenn Allen replied “because of Clarence Oddbody”.
If you listened to episode 26 of the Sheffield Vulcans Podcast you will know why Nathan Murtagh loves Muppets Christmas Carol. To be fair, who doesn’t love this film! Starring everyone’s favourite muppet alongside screen icon Michael Caine as Scrooge, this film has everything you’ll ever want in a Christmas film. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, it’ll make you sing along and watch it all again because it’s just that good!
From the mind who brought the world one of the most effective festive slasher film Black Christmas, comes this 1983 family friendly comedy. A Christmas Story is directed by Bob Clark who tells the story of a young boy named Ralphie who is determined to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a BB gun is really the perfect Christmas gift. When asked why this is his favourite Christmas film, Chris Moore replied “Nobody has heard off this one, but my family used to watch it every year – I know every line off by heart.”
Ho ho ho! Now I have a machine gun! Well is it a Christmas movie though? It’s set on Christmas Eve and it’s up to NYPD’s John McClane to save his wife and the rest of the corporate big wigs at Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles who have been taken hostage by German terrorists during their office Christmas party. This one comes highly recommended by Dominic Brady and regardless if you believe it’s a Christmas film or not, Die Hard is a perfect slice of action cinema for anyone interested in watching the bad guys get their dues!
Would you leave your child alone at Christmas? Well apparently Catherine O’Hara would! Our very own Archie Carnall might be somewhat triggered by this film but I think we all know why Home Alone is a fantastic Christmas Film. There’s no need to check out the remake/reboot on Disney+ this is the real gem right here. However, for those who might have been hiding under a rock, Home Alone sees Macaulay Culkin play Kevin, an eight-year-old windup merchant who is forced to protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidently left home alone by his family during their Christmas Vacation. So if you want to check this gem out make sure you order a large cheese pizza just for you and prepare yourself for 103 minutes of chaotic fun!
In the festive installment of the National Lampoon’s vacation franchise, Christmas Vacation is directed by John Hughes. The film sees Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold who is busy planning his big family gathering only to find himself victim to one mishap after another. Featuring a fantastic cast, amusing set pieces and plenty of real laugh-out-loud moments, Christmas Vacation provide plenty of festive cheer throughout. When asked why Christmas Vacation is his favourite Christmas film, Andy Gibson replied “it’s crazy and puts a smile on my face.” We can’t grumble with that, Andy!
That brings a close to our list of 10 of our Favourite Must See Christmas Movies. However, no list would be complete without a few honorable mentions so here’s three more slightly obscure movies that you may or may not have considered previously:
Calling all musical fans! Fancy watching a film that’s about a zombie apocalypse in Scotland at Christmas? Look no further than Anna and the Apocalypse. Directed by John McPhail, Anna and the Apocalypse is the tale of Anna who finds herself fighting alongside her friends to survive wave after wave of the undead in their town of Little Haven. With civilization falling apart all around them, Anna must take a stand to survive. Best described as Buffy’s “Once More with Feeling” meets “Shaun of the Dead”, Anna and the Apocalypse is one of the most uplifting Zombie films you will ever see.
Sticking with a horror/comedy theme, the next recommendation is Better Watch Out. All you need to know about this film is that the film sees a baby sitter defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover the danger is so much worse. This really is the Scream of Christmas Movies. Don’t read anymore into this, the less you know about it the better. Trust us.
Finally, if you’re not so much into horror or comedy, why not check out something completely different in the form of Netflix’s The Christmas Chronicles. Starring Kurt Russell as Santa, the film follows two siblings whose Christmas Eve plan is to catch Santa Claus on camera only to find themselves on an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Merry Christmas to you and yours from everyone here at Sheffield Vulcans RUFC.