10 Essential Films While Avoiding the Outdoors

As we dive into this new semester, that promised freezing forecast quickly approaches. Now that venturing to the outdoors is not the most ideal activity to part take in during your free time, here are 5 conventional and 5 unconventional films to watch. The list is in no particular order, they are just my opinion of what is essential to watch whether you’re on holidays or just trying to survive the -30 degree weather.

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

This film is a classic holiday film directed by Frank Capra, which follows a business man and his family as he is frustrated with his job. An angel shows him what would have been if he did not exist. It is a bittersweet film that still has an uplifting factor. It recognizes that not every holiday film has to magical and always happy because the holidays are so much more.

Home Alone (1990)

This cult classic spawned a franchise with a decent second film and questionable sequels that follow it. Not one compares to the magic of the first film. The film is mischievous and funny but also heartwarming with family values. It is possibly the most popular film during the holidays on television.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

Everyone seems to be in the holiday mood, but poor Charlie Brown has the blues. His friends try everything to make him happy, but nothing seems to work.  With the heartwarming soundtrack, he finds the real meaning of Christmas in this classic film.

An American Tail (1986)

This heartwarming and emotional animated film is about a group of Jewish mice fleeing to America to escape persecution from Russia. The film celebrates family traditions and the importance of Hanukkah.

The Black Candle (2008)

This is the only documentary on this list, but it is definitely worth the watch. The film looks at the progression of Kwanzaa from 1966 to the present which is combined with the struggles and victories of the African American community. While documentaries are not the typical holiday film, it is still worth the watch to learn about the important history behind Kwanzaa

Die Hard (1988)

While some elements of the film have not aged well; terrible German accents we see you, it is still considered one of the most iconic action films. It is not a traditional holiday film but something about seeing Bruce Willis fight Alan Rickman fight along with Run D.M.C.’S Christmas in Hollis gives off a feel-good holiday vibe.

Gremlins (1984)

This film has a rare achievement, it is considered a Halloween and holiday film. Think of this film as if the toys you got as a child came alive and became a evil killer that destroys your hometown during the holidays. So, if you’re not feeling the traditional holiday films and miss Halloween, this is your film.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Every time during the holidays, there is always a television channel that has a Harry Potter marathon. As a big Harry Potter fan, one film that I always watch every year is the first film in the series. The beautiful scene in Hogwarts is a thing of dreams and magic, making every kid wish they went to Hogwarts.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Tim Burton’s films tend to have a Halloween vibe going on, but Edward Scissorhands is considered a holiday film. With the beautiful snowfall scene that juxtaposes Edward’s ‘grotesque’ hands with the beauty of the first snowfall. The entire narrative of the film is centered around a grandmother telling her grandchild about why it always snows on Christmas.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

A fish out of water tale, sees Jack Skellington stumbling about Christmastown, which is vastly different from Halloweentown. With these films you can sing along with unconventional holiday songs and enjoy the stunning stop motion animation.

Special Mentions

  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
  • Rent (2006)
  • Lethal Weapon (1997)
  • Mean Girls (2004)
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Post by: Jessi Law

Posted in Blog.