Hollywood Holidays

I don’t have a lot to say about these three movies, but since they’re all Christmas-related, I figured I should get in some reviews before the big day.


Krampus (2015) – I sort of had the impression that this was more of a horror movie, but it was actually more of a family comedy incorporating some fantastic horror elements. I’m not entirely sure why Krampus, a Germanic monster dating back a few centuries at least, has become so popular in the United States as of late; but I can’t say I object to it either. He’s a demon with a certain amount of humor to his appearance, so it’s not surprising that’s the direction the movie took. The film involves a family losing the holiday spirit, with the Austrian matriarch of the family warning the others about how that could bring Krampus to punish them. The family has to deal with malicious holiday decorations, including evil toys and gingerbread men, then finally with the goat-demon himself. It’s pretty fun, and I’d recommend it.


Scrooged – I guess I was eleven when this came out, but I didn’t see it until this week. It’s an eighties-style update of the classic Scrooge story, starring Bill Murray as a nasty, self-centered television executive. There’s a meta-referential aspect to it, as he’s haunted by the ghosts while his station is broadcasting a live version of A Christmas Carol. I didn’t love it, but it was well-made, including several clever references to the original story.


Die Hard – I’ve seen it argued that this doesn’t count as a Christmas movie because it just takes place at Christmas, rather than being ABOUT Christmas. There’s some validity to that, but I’m not sure it really matters.

I felt this was one of those movies pretty much everyone else had seen, so I might as well do so as well. I’m really not that big on action movies, though. They can be fun to watch, but don’t leave me with a whole lot to think about afterwards. What I found the most interesting was that Alan Rickman had pretty much the same speech patterns and mannerisms as when he played Severus Snape, and Reginald VelJohnson was basically Carl Winslow. Of course, this came BEFORE Harry Potter or Family Matters, but still.

Are there any other holiday-related movies that you think are required for cultural literacy, or that are just fun? I’m sure I’ve seen many of them already, but I’d still like to know your opinion.

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