It is no secret that I am a ‘scrooge’ when it comes to the Holiday Season. Yes I mutter “bah, humbug” whenever I can and no matter how many ghosts of past, present and future visit me I do not change and I just want to avoid this time of year. Why may you ask? Because it drives people INSANE, no matter where you go, it’s always something. You can’t go to the stores because they are filled with people going crazy trying to grab what they can. The people around you start going crazy trying to prepare, then you have to worry about getting people gifts and they worry about out doing others, while there are those who get given gifts and don’t bother to give back. In short it is a mess, my ideal Christmas is to just be with those I love, in a calm and cool environment, no arguing or crazyiness, a nice lunch with no gift giving. Sadly this wont happen, so this is my Guide to how I Survive The Holidays and something I highly recommend.
The following is a list of films that are essential viewing for lifting those spirits during this Season; they work for me. I’d say the week of Christmas, Christmas Eve or even Christmas night these will work like a charm!
BATMAN RETURNS (1992)
This isn’t a traditional film for the Holiday season but it is set around Christmas time. The darker tone of this film and the fantastic cast make this required viewing, the film has a certain feel to it and it can be enjoyed at any time. But why is it a cure for the Holiday blues? You can’t go passed the amazing visuals of the film, the great performances of Michael Keaton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Danny DeVito and Christopher Walken just to name a few. The film managed to handle the multi-villain arc to perfection and it is certainly one of the best Batman films. This is a mood lifter and the perfect counter part for this Season.
HOME ALONE (1990)
This film is one of those that I do remember going to see in the theatre; I think I was six years old at the time and perhaps one of my earliest cinematic memories. I loved it instantly, and it became my favourite film at the time and I wanted to be just like Kevin. I was sure I could defeat burglars in my home, sure that is the wrong message to send to kids but the film is a crazy mess of fun. It takes place over Christmas where the youngest sibling in his family gets left behind and he’s home alone. His house gets picked to get robbed, so he makes a plan to drive those guys out. As a kid there was nothing better than this and upon watching it again year after year the fun is still there. Sure the film feels dated and what not but this really gets me in a better mood at this time of year. I always laugh so hard; Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are just fantastic in this and really make the film.
This could be my own biography in a way, it is sad that I can relate to the main character Frank (Bill Murray) over the way he feels about Christmas. This is a modern take on A Christmas Carol, which in itself plays its own role. Frank runs a TV station, he’s a self-fish bastard and the big grab this Christmas is a live telecast of A Christmas Carol. That telecast isn’t much like the actual story and as Frank tries to sort things out in the way only a greedy bastard can, he gets visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. Through all of this yes he learns a lesson and changes his way but it is the journey that is awesome. This film is hilarious and the concept is great, another Bill Murray classic and another Dick Donner classic too. This for me is perfect for my own mood, except at the end I don’t suddenly change my ways, ha! Also Karen Allen is absolutely adorable!
CHRISTMAS VACATION (1989)
This could possibly be the ultimate holiday film, one to watch every year as a tradition. This really describes all the problems with Christmas, and it is told in a hilarious fashion. We have our beloved Griswold family back, led by Chevy Chase and a very lovely Beverly D’Angelo, who in short deal with all the shortcomings. Nothing goes right and their families pretty much drive them insane. Of course by the end they discover what Christmas is truly about, but like Scrooged it is all about the fun of getting there. So many memorable scenes and lines, this film is way too much fun and worth watching more than once during the Season. It lifts my spirits and it just rings to true, I love it!
SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984)
The ultimate Christmas/Holiday themed film for me involves a very disturbed young man who goes on a murder spree dressed up as Santa. That seems overly appropriate for someone who doesn’t like this time of year. The film of course is quite psychological and an intelligent one, our killer is actually a very sympathetic person and for a lot of the film we feel for him. But I couldn’t hate him once the killing started, in fact this film easily places the audience on his side. It is sad to watch someone snap, and this film plays off that perfectly. The kills are actually really awesome, especially a specific one involving Linnea Quigley and her bare chest! This film is such a great antidote for my mood, it puts me in a great mood and it is such a good way for me to take out my aggression. Yes, I might be sick and twisted but honestly this film is like the perfect cure.
This has been Super Marcey’s Guide To Surviving The Holidays ….