It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so the songs says. Don’t get me wrong, it’s true, but not just for all that noise about “love & togetherness”, this is the one time of year when you can put on some of your cinematic festive favourites without care of judgement, and what better time to watch one than Christmas Eve?
Well with that in mind, here are six films that are guaranteed to put you in the festive spirit on the night before Christmas.
The Santa Clause (1994)
If you were born in the 90’s, chances are you’ve seen this movie. I remember many a Christmas in primary school, the teachers would cram us all into a crowded classroom, sit us on the hard, uncomfortable floor and show us this film on a TV smaller than most phone screens today. Tim Allen plays the protagonist, Scott Calvin, who becomes Santa Claus after accidentally murdering the old one, which is the cornerstone of most family entertainment I suppose. Calvin spends the film struggling with the weight gain that goes hand in hand with the job, the facial hair that he just can’t get rid of, and the authorities who want to take him away from his son because they think he’s crazy. It’s packed to the brim with Christmas cheer and will certainly get you in the spirit of the season.
Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007)
While not strictly a Christmas film, Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is a holiday favourite of mine. Dustin Hoffman takes the helm as Mr Magorium himself, the ancient owner of a magical toy store. The film is heart warming, magical, and sweetly funny, and without spoiling it for you, you will cry, simple as that. But anyway, tears aside, this is a true classic in my opinion, and I urge anyone who has not yet seen it, to see it immediately, and with Christmas Eve just around the corner, you find yourselves with the perfect opportunity to enjoy this hidden gem.
One for the adults now, as Krampus and his twisted minions slither their way down your chimney. This holiday horror comes from the same mind that brought you Trick’R’Treat, and by all estimations it was supposed to fail. Initially set for a straight to DVD release, the film managed to earn a wide release and did wonderfully at the box office. Despite getting mixed reviews from critics, Krampus is a modern classic, following a disfunctional family, who are brought together when the Christmas demon is summoned to their house. There are laughs, scares, and a true family message all packed into this, and if you don’t mind getting a few chills on Christmas Eve, then this is the film for you.
The Polar Express (2004)
Although it attained mixed reviews, The Polar Express is somewhat of a masterpiece. Coming to the big screen in 2004, the films stars Tom Hanks in a plethora of roles, and it centres around a group of kids on a magical train ride to the North Pole. Even though this film came out in 2004, the animation still looks incredible today. Not only that, but the film mixes intensity, subtle humour, and Christmas cheer in a way that’s so vitally seamless that anyone of any age can see this instant classic and enjoy it. The magic this film projects is the perfect thing to get the kids off to a sound sleep on Christmas Eve, and enough to rise that special warm feeling in the bellies of adults, a must watch for fans of animation and Christmas alike.
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001)
Again, this is not strictly a Christmas film, but it is a staple of Christmas Eve in the UK. This may just be British bias talking, but a Christmas without the first instalment in this series just doesn’t feel like Christmas. While the film is far from perfect, it certainly is the most magical of the lot, with a snowy Christmas sequence that would put most actual holiday movies to shame. Any time is a good time to watch an epic fantasy series like Harry Potter, but the first film, in the eyes of some many British people, will have a special place on Christmas Eve.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
We end this list with a true festive favourite of generations upon generations. No matter how old you are, you have to appreciate the quality of Brian Henson’s 1992 Muppet masterpiece. Probably my favourite adaption of the Dickens novel, the film follows Charles Dickens himself, played by Gonzo, as he tells his iconic story. Scrooge is played to perfection by Michael Caine, and the whole Muppet cast never fails to bring a smile to my face. With catchy songs, great set design, and wonderful puppeteer work, its not hard to see why I’ve included this film on the list. So gather round, put this on your TV, and I guarantee the whole family will be off to bed on Christmas Eve with smiles on their faces, and songs stuck in their heads.
Did I miss any out? Was your favourite Christmas Eve film left at the bottom of the sack? Have a list idea or a review request? Drop them in the comments section or go throught the blog’s contact page.
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