Ten Essential… Christmas Films

Jess Barratt selects her ten essential Christmas films…

Here are my top 10 festive treats to get you through the Christmas hangovers. Expect snow, sparkle and choir-lead soundtracks…

10. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Although this is not typically considered a true Christmas film it does however have rather Christmassy themes and a beautiful festive score written by the talented Danny Elfman. The latter half of this eerie Tim Burton film is entirely set at Christmas time and includes the unforgettable scene where Winona Ryder’s character dances in the snow falling from Edward’s ice sculpture. With fantastic comedic performances by an incredible cast, Edward Scissorhands is sure to get you edging towards the eggnog.


9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid doing what they do best in this wacky 80s comedy. With some questionable SFX and strange impromptu group singing, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the perfect nostalgic Christmas feature.


8. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Arguably one of the best depictions of Santa, this 80s Christmas classic presents a rich storyline and engulfs its audience in sheer Christmas euphoria. Along with the lovable elf Patch played by Dudley Moore, Santa Claus: The Movie will fulfil all your Christmas wishes.


7. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)

Arguably one of the best modern Christmas films, this Finnish thriller puts a dark twist on the Christmas genre. Set in the snowy hills of Finland with an evil satanic Santa on the loose, little Pietari staples his advent calendar shut as he dreads what awaits him on Christmas day. A great film for those looking for something a little different this holiday season.


6. The Grinch (2000)

Jim Carrey at his best; this Dr Seuss classic will not fail to get even the biggest Scrooge singing festive carols. With some utterly stunning Christmas scenery and hilarious acting from the King of comedy, The Grinch is fast becoming a festive family favourite.


5. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Forget Alfie, The Muppet Christmas Carol is definitely Michael Caine’s finest hour. A charming twist to the A Christmas Carol classic, with great sing-a-longs and lots of Kermit the Frog, what more could you want at Christmas time?


4. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Although there is a strong Halloween theme to The Nightmare Before Christmas, it is the Christmas scenes that make this film so memorable. With stunning animation, musical masterpieces and the ultimate children’s fantasy of Christmas Town, this Burton classic will not fail to submerge you in Christmas joy.


3. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

Arguably one of the best made sequels, Home Alone 2 has made tourists from around the world flock to New York for the festive season. Little Kevin McCallister plays out every child’s fantasy of going on a spending spree in a huge toy shop and still has time to outwit two grown men.


2. Home Alone (1990)

Accumulating $533,000,000 internationally, Home Alone embodies the Christmas season for this generation. With a wonderful soundtrack and arguably one of the best child performances on Macaulay Culkin’s behalf, as he epitomises what it is like for a child at Christmas time.


1. Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell plays the loveable Elf in this hilarious festive comedy, with creative scenes using optical illusion to show size differences between Buddy and his much smaller elf co-stars. This film boasts outstanding wit and fantastic physical comedy, not to mention lashings of Christmas charm.


Merry Christmas and happy viewing everyone!

Be sure to let us know your favourite Christmas movies in the comments below…

Jess Barratt