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Holiday Movie Picks

Christmas cinema has always been a part of the Holiday season whether the festive flicks are bringing families and friends closer together, serving as an escape from those very same people, or simply supplying an antidote to loneliness or utter boredom.

That said, allow me to not suggest typical classics like Miracle On 34th St, It’s A Wonderful Life and Home Alone for your Yuletide movie night, and instead propose selections that are slightly more against the grain.

GremlinsGremlins (1984)
There are some pretty terrible Christmas themed slasher films out there, but I’d prefer to bring your attention to this classic horror comedy.
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Set in a small town during the holidays, the film is about Billy and his new exotic pet, Gizmo. He is sweet and adorable, but feed him after midnight and he spawns some creepy and destructive little monsters.
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While Gremlins may not keep you up at night with bad dreams, there are still scenes that haunt me to this day. A YMCA swimming pool glowing green, an old woman trying to stay alive and the creepiest use of the carol, “Do You Hear What I Hear?” I’ve had to sit through. This is an 80s relic worth digging up.
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Honorable mention: Black Christmas (1974).
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BatmanReturnsBatman Returns (1992)
Most people praise the Christopher Nolan entries of the Batman saga, but for me, nothing hits the highs of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns.
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A beautiful Gothic fairy tale of a film, this sequel has Batman facing off with two villains: The Penguin and Catwoman. Gotham has never looked better covered in snow and holiday wreaths, and the movie manages to have a heart when it comes to the emotional arches of the characters. The antiheroes aren’t just cardboard villains. The Penguin suffers from abandonment issues and endured a lifetime of ridicule and exploitation, Catwoman is a repressed victim with some major self esteem issues to overcome.
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There is something so satisfying and yet tragic in the scene when Batman and Catwoman finally realize who they really are. Nolan might have brought realism to the series, but Burton managed to find the sad psychology to these flawed characters.
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Honorable Mention: Put a hold on Die Hard this year and give The Long Kiss Goodnight a try.
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TheRefThe Ref (1994)
There are so many Christmas movies that leave you with a warm feeling inside. How about one that feels more like battery acid?
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The Ref is a dark comedy about a cat burglar (Denis Leary) who gets stuck having to keep an unhappy married couple hostage when his Christmas burglary goes awry.
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With Kevin Spacey’s dry, sardonic wit as the husband and Judy Davis’ icy portrayal of the wife, The Ref will have you laughing hard with jokes that cut deeper than a holiday turkey.
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Honorable Mention: Eight Crazy Nights and how could you pass on Elf or Bad Santa. By the way, Bad Santa 2 hits theaters November 23.
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-Chris Upshaw, guest blogger
Posted by on Nov 15 2016. Filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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