Christmas 2017: Movies to watch on demand over the festive season
Christmas is about opening presents, eating good food and falling asleep in front of the telly. Watching a Christmas movie on Christmas Day is a solid tradition in modern times, and now, with on-demand television, there’s no time wasted trying to dig out the DVD. Here are five festive films available on demand this Christmas.
Scrooged (1988) – Sky/Netflix
A modern twist on Charles Dickens’s Christmas classic, Scrooged follows TV executive Frank Cross as he endures his own existential undead. Rich with dark humour and frightening surrealism (worthy of David Cronenberg), it’s an aburdist comedy with Bill Murray fitting perfectly into the role of the old, funny Scrooge. Scrooged is a funnier (though no less frightening) take on an old classic.
Elf (2003) – Amazon Prime Video
It didn’t take long for Elf to become a classic in Christmas cinema. Buddy (played beautifully by Will Ferrell) works as an elf in Santa’s workshop. But when he realises he’s human, he leaves the North Pole and travels to Manhattan to find his biological father. Elf provides jolly laughs from viewers of all ages and, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, you’d have to be a real Scrooge not to love it.
Gremlins (1984) – Amazon Prime Video
Three rules for mogwais: don’t expose them to bright lights, don’t get them wet, and don’t feed them after midnight. Otherwise, violent havoc will ensue in your small snowy town. When the kids have gone to bed, Gremlins is essential viewing. If there’s any genre that summarises Christmas, it’s the horror-comedy.
Love Actually (2003) – Sky
Starring an ensemble of British and American talent, Love Actually follows several characters on their respective pursuits of love during this seasonal time. Richard Curtis receives a lot of schtick because his films are waded in Hollywood fantasy and sentimentality – but that’s what Christmas is full of, and where the fun comes. We don’t always need to be stuck in the cold darkness of Dickensian existentialism when Curtis can wrap us warm with Love Actually.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – Sky
There’s no film with a greater urgency to be watched at Christmas time. If you haven’t already got three copies at home, it’s available online. Based in the small, Nuclear-family town of Bedford Falls, George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) finds life hard to bear despite acting honourably. As he considers suicide, an angel takes him through the key events of his existence to make him realise he’s had a wonderful life. There’s no better message for this time of year.