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8 Alternative Christmas Movies

I am a big fan of totally cheesy, tinsel-covered Christmas cheer. However, I also love anything a bit dark, spooky or left of centre. So I figure, let’s have a list of flicks which do both! Christmassy, scary, sad, weird, stalker-y…the gang is all here. Enjoy!

The Family Stone (2005)

Alternative Christmas Movies - still from film

If you’re enjoying the return of Carrie Bradshaw, this might be the one for you. Sarah Jessica Parker plays a neurotic outsider, stunned to find herself in the midst of the chaotic Family Stone for Christmas. Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney and more make up the the perfect ensemble cast. The farce and fabulousness is in full supply, as is the lifestyle porn. Dreamy!
Director: Thomas Bezucha

In Bruges (2008)

Two bickering hitmen, Ray and Ken, get stuck in Bruges after a botched job. Doesn’t sound that Christmassy, does it? And frankly, it’s not the kind of Christmas movie you’re used to – there’s a lot of violence and black humour here. Must be the Irish in McDonagh…. Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson are both wonderful, and the touching ending will gut punch you.
Director: Martin McDonagh

Edward Scissorhands (1991)

Johnny Depp cemented his offbeat leading man status with this excellent offering from Tim Burton, about an outcast who finds a new home amongst the picket-fence perfection of middle America. First they hate him, then they love him…then they hate him again. Sounds a bit like the stages of being with your family for Christmas, doesn’t it?!
Director: Tim Burton

While You Were Sleeping (1995)

It is impossible not to fall in love with Sandra Bullock in this film, as hapless and lonely Lucy, who is desperately in love with a man she sees everyday but has never spoken to. Aren’t we all, babes? When he has an accident and falls into a coma she takes him to hospital and gets mistaken for his fiancee… but of course the path of true love never runs smoothly.
Director: John Turtletaub

In America (2003)

A favourite of mine for many reasons, this classic story of the immigrant Irish glances humous, warmth and tragedy perfectly. Samantha Morton and Paddy Considine play a young couple travelling to the USA in search of a new life – but their past won’t be left behind. If this film doesn’t make you sob like a baby, then you have a heart of stone.
Director: Jim Sheridan

Rare Exports (2010)

Ok guys, so…Santa Claus, but make him terrifying. It only works if you’re Scandi, I think.

A young boy named Pietari and his friend Juuso think a secret mountain drilling project near their home in northern Finland has uncovered the tomb of Santa Claus. However, this a monstrous, evil Santa. Oops! When Pietari’s father captures a feral old man in his wolf trap, the man may hold the key to why reindeer are being slaughtered and children are disappearing. I mean, perhaps this is exactly how you like your Christmases?!
Director: Jalmari Helander

Lethal Weapon (1987)

Death, drug-trafficking and the power of buddy cops. What more do you want, Mariah?? Mel Gibson at his peak here, yes I’m talking full-blown out mullet, and Danny Glover at his most imposing form a bond as they bust open a crime ring. I mean, it totally depends on how you define festive, doesn’t it? Even if not a movie like Goodfellas, a Christmas themed movie it is, nonetheless. And an 80s classic. Boom.
Director: Richard Donner

Black Christmas (2019)

College girls Riley and her friends prepare for a Christmas party. But when a masked stalker who targets girls goes on a killing spree, they decide to fight back. I mean, talk about a feminist slant on Christmas-gone-wrong! And nothing says Merry Christmas like a bunch of women coming together to fight back against systematic oppression. Or is that just what I want from Santa?
Director: Sophia Takai

So there you have it – anything you haven’t seen on here which you’re adding to your list? Or are there a few you love and watch every year? For more ideas about movies of any type and taste, check out the BoB App to find those you can recommend to friends and family.