It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. That’s right, Christmas is mere weeks away and there are plenty of films out there to help get you in the spirit. But they aren’t all about warm feelings and warm wishes. Last weekend we got Violent Night, which sees Santa in a Die-Hard like quest. This week we get Christmas Bloody Christmas. So, for Binge Watch this week, I’m looking at some dark Christmas films.
Reindeer Games (2000)
About: Coming from director John Frankenheimer, this one has an all-star cast that includes Charlize Theron, Ben Affleck and Gary Sinise, among others. It starts with Affleck being released from prison and impersonating his cellmate for a woman… which leads to a casino robbery. It’s not a great movie and probably not what you first think of during Christmas time, but it has a few lines I haven’t forgotten since I first saw in 22 years ago.
Bad Santa (2003)
About: In the span of one holiday season, we got Elf, Love Actually and this timeless classic. The film sees Billy Bob Thornton as a mall Santa by trade, working with his partner (Tony Cox) to rob the malls where they work to make their bones for a year. It’s irreverent, unexpected and in your face from the jump. Lauren Graham has an outstanding supporting role while John Ritter and Bernie Mac round out the cast. From the first time I saw it, I considered it an unconventional seasonal classic.
About: It’s happened to all of us, really. You are planning a great holiday and accidently summon a Christmas-themed demon. This puts a very different spin on the holidays, creating a modern horror film for the season. The cast includes Adam Scott, Allison Tolman and Toni Collette. If you’re looking for something different, this fits the bill.
The Night Before (2015)
About: The holidays aren’t always a great time for everyone. That’s the case for Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who loses his parents in a car accident. Ever since, his two best friends (Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie) spend Christmas eve with him. While his friends are ready to end the tradition, Ethan isn’t and cajoles them into one more wild night. This is a wild adventure and not your typical Christmas film. It’s got a good cast and, in the end, some Christmas spirit.
Office Christmas Party (2016)
About: Adults are familiar with the annual tradition of a Christmas gathering for work. Doubtless, you’ve never been to a work party like this one. The cast here includes T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn. It’s a hilarious and wild ride. It was my kind of humor.
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.