Though it may not feel like it quite yet, winter break is just around the corner. The official first day of winter will be Dec. 21, by which time your finals will finally be over and you will have almost a month free of your studently responsibilities.
One great way to fill that time? Holiday movies. Here is a list of some great ones to check out over break, from the classically cozy to the unconventionally kitsch.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
This is a quintessential Christmas classic, with theaters and cable channels across the country showing the film every year. The film begins on a somewhat dark note, but holds a warm message that good deeds and good friends are what make life so wonderful. It has also aged remarkably well considering its release was nearly eighty years ago, and it continues to be arguably the most iconic Christmas film of all time.
Though Christmas movies dominate the holiday season, other cultural holidays have plenty of films of their own. Most Hanukkah movies fall into two categories: a Jewish spin on a Hallmark Christmas, or a harrowing tale of immigration from Eastern Europe.
Enter: Hanukkah, where a group of Jewish young adults find out they are being targeted by a serial killer, hunting them down for breaking Judaic law. Religiously driven slashers are a dime a dozen, but a non-Christian take is a refreshing spin on a played-out trope.
To be clear, this movie is not very good. It drags through the first half and portrays gratuitous violence against mostly naked women in the second. It features some big name horror stars like Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses) and Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), but they are underutilized and fail to give the film any real legitimacy in the genre.
But I believe true equality comes when marginalized story tellers are also given the opportunity to make bad movies. Only when we can all make bland, grubby horror movies will we truly have equality. Also, the film’s “Torah-fying tale” of the “Hanukiller” are good enough puns to earn its place on my list.
Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard’s status as a Christmas movie is contentious, but it makes for a great choice if you are not one for sentimentality (or really enjoy arguing that it is, in fact, a Christmas movie).
The high stakes hostage situation, character development, action and drama keep you on your toes throughout, making this among the best action films of its kind.
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Another movie with debatable Christmas status is Nightmare Before Christmas. This delightful musical includes a peek into both the fictional Halloween Town and Christmas Town, making it fit for a viewing during either season.
Some people feel very passionately one way or the other about the appropriate holiday for watching, but I think the perfect solution is to enjoy it in both October and December.
There you have it. Merry watching and happy holidays!
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