Christmas crackers: Venue writers’ favourite Christmas films

The Nightmare before Christmas – Alex Morrison

Putting the macabre into the festive season, The Nightmare Before Christmas manages to be funny and spooky with its wonderfully designed stop-motion, memorable cast of characters and excellently catchy songs, including This Is Halloween, What’s This and The Oogie Boogie Song. This is one film that’ll never leave your screens from Halloween to Christmas.

Arthur Christmas  – Christopher Barkman

An oft-forgotten modern Christmas masterpiece, Arthur Christmas gets to the core of what makes a holiday film by being both incredibly entertaining and an intelligent commentary on modern Christmas itself. It may be young and not well known, but absolutely deserves to be held up as a soon-to-be classic.

Polar Express – Eva Wakeford

Every time I watch The Polar Express it just seems to recapture those child-like feelings of excitement, joy and wonder at Christmas time. A comical, classic and absolutely charming film with a beautiful overarching message; as said by Santa Claus himself, “the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”

Die Hard – Melissa Haggar

OK, let’s be real, who doesn’t love a bit of Die Hard at Christmas. Yes, it barely passed as a Christmas film, but it’s got everything to keep the holiday season that much more entertaining: explosions, some semblance of a Xmas tree, family strife and near death! And come on, it’s got your main man Alan Rickman in it, so it’s basically a classic (“I am going to count to three. There will not be a four.”)

Elf – Leah Marriott

Christmas isn’t the same without Buddy the elf! His journey to meet his father is hilarious yet charming and his spreading of Christmas cheer never gets old. The most memorable moment for me is when Buddy gets very excited about ‘Santa’ coming to the North Pole at Gimbels!

It’s A Wonderful Life – Hattie Griffiths   

I’ve had two consecutive boyfriends run out of the room blubbering from the ending of this film. A classic shown every year, it’s the perfect Christmas tear-jerk formula; the loveable but unlucky lead character (James Stewart), adorable children, and a suitable amount of snow and Christmas lights. An essential watch for the Christmas connoisseur.

Disney’s a Christmas Carol – Jodie Bailey

We all know Dickens’ tale of Scrooge and perhaps that’s what makes Disney’s animated version so good: it brings the story to a new generation. Not only is the Polar Express-style animation enchanting, but the movie captures the true spirit of Christmas. For me it’s a festive film staple!

Home Alone – Gus Edgar

What better way to celebrate festive family spirit than by watching a small child left stranded by neglectful parents? Home Alone revels in its euphoric childhood escapism, seen through the eyes of Macaulay Culkin’s wonderfully hammed-up Kevin as he decks the halls with glue and folly. A true Christmas cracker.


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