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10 Must-See Festive Treats to Guarantee Some Yuletide Cheer

‘Twas Christmas Adam, and Christmas lights shone as far as the eyes could see. As carolers jostled from door to door, it really was (finally) starting to feel a lot like Christmas.

Christmas movies are a tradition in most homes around the world, largely because the vast majority of them manage to conjure up nostalgic memories of Christmases past when, thereby rekindling the Christmas spirit, which tends to fizzle out the older we get.

So, in the hopes of expanding your go-to Christmas movie list, we’ve put together a list of 10 films we’re certain will spark a healthy helping of Yuletide cheer in your household this year.


(Dir. Peter Baynton & Charlie Mackesy, 2022)

A story of kindness, friendship, courage and hope for viewers of all ages in a heart-warming, classically animated Academy Award winning film based on Charlie Mackesy’s book, “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.” The poignant and heartfelt journey follows the unlikely friendship of a boy, a mole, a fox and a horse traveling together in the boy’s search for home. The film, featuring Mackesy’s distinctive illustrations brought to life in full color with beautiful hand-drawn animation, stars BAFTA Award winner Tom Hollander (“The Night Manager”) as The Mole, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Idris Elba (“Luther”) as The Fox, Golden Globe Award winner Gabriel Byrne (“All Things Bright and Beautiful”) as The Horse, and newcomer Jude Coward Nicoll as The Boy.


(Dir. Sean Anders, 2022)

Each Christmas Eve, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) selects one dark soul to be reformed by a visit from three spirits. But this season, he picked the wrong Scrooge. Clint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) turns the tables on his ghostly host until Present finds himself reexamining his own past, present and future. For the first time, “A Christmas Carol” is told from the perspective of the ghosts in this hilarious musical twist on the classic Dickens tale. From Director Sean Anders (“Daddy’s Home,” “Instant Family”), written by Sean Anders and John Morris, with original songs by Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“La La Land”) and production numbers choreographed by Chloe Arnold (“The Late Late Show with James Corden”), this modern retelling is a sweet and spicy holiday treat.


(Dir. Hamish Hamilton, 2023)

Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas, has just debuted globally on AppleTV+. In the musical event, Emmy-winning star Hannah Waddingham will ring in the holidays as she welcomes special guests for a musical extravaganza at the London Coliseum. The special is recorded live in front of an audience, and audiences around the world will be able to join Waddingham in celebrating her favorite time of year on Apple TV+ as she performs festive classics accompanied by a spectacular big band.


(Dir. Tommy Wirkola, 2022)

Tommy Wirkola‘s (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Dead Snow franchise) coal-dark holiday action-comedy Violent Night quickly became a new go-to Christmas movie as soon as we caught it last year.

Brought to you through 87North (producers of Nobody, John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Bullet Train, and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw), and written by Sonic the Hedgehog scribes Pat Casey & Josh Miller, Violent Night tells the festival tale of a team of mercenaries who break into a wealthy family compound on Christmas Eve but soon realize they’re in for a bleak midwinter when a surprise combatant drops down the chimney: Santa Claus (David Harbour – Black Widow, “Stranger Things”) is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Nick is no saint.


(Dir. John McTiernan, 1988)

Die Hard is largely seen as one of the greatest action movies ever made. It’s not hard to see why as it completely changed the landscape of action movies which, as a genre, previously centered itself around near-superhumans played by hulking giants like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

The end result is one of the most grounded action films of all-time. Bruce Willis’s John McClane is not indestructible; in fact, much of the film has the man tired, scared, and hurt as he maneuvers his way through a building brimming with heavily-armed terrorists.

In addition, where many action movies are not known for their performances, Die Hard dodges yet another trope by featuring a strong cast. Bruce Willis’s breakout role as John McClane, to this day, is his most memorable, and Alan Rickman will always be Hans Gruber to me (silly wizard movies be damned).

Sure, Die Hard may be less about Christmas and more about terrorism, but it takes place right around the holiday and there’s plenty of Christmas-red blood spilled. Watch with Die Hard 2 for a double bill that will make you glad that you weren’t invited to anyone’s Christmas party and don’t have anyone in your life worth flying to visit.


(Dir. John Woo, 2023)

Our most highly-anticipated movie in what is left of this year is the welcome return of legendary director John Woo who returns with his first American feature film since 2003’s Paycheck. This gritty revenge tale sounds like somewhat of an experiment but one that producer Erica Lee sounds extremely satisfied with, having said: “It was another spec script that I was given and read, and I was like, “This is either going to be a genius move or a disaster, there’s no in between.” It’s execution dependent for sure. I mean, John Woo kills it. Joel Kinnaman is the star and really delivers. I mean, there’s some ambient noise and background and chatter like radio and stuff like that. But, yeah, it’s awesome. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

Silent Night centres on a tormented father who witnesses his young son die when caught in a gang’s crossfire on Christmas Eve. While recovering from a wound that costs him his voice, he makes vengeance his life’s mission and embarks on a punishing training regimen in order to avenge his son’s death.


(Dir. Tom Shankland, 2008)

Tom Shankland’s (W∆Z) festive tale chronicles how a relaxing Christmas holiday turns into a terrifying fight for survival when an evil virus in the snow converts children into pesky little adult killers. Shankland does an amazing job of gradually ramping up the tension and anxiety as the titular kids go from mischievous to outright evil as ‘freak’ accidents get more gruesome by the minute. The kids’ performances are chillingly superb and the fact we they are never actually caught with their hands in the cookie jar makes them all the more menacing.


(Dir. John McPhail, 2017)

Get ready for some cadaverous choir singing in John McPhail’s infectious zombie musical.

Starring Ella Hunt, Mark Benton and Paul Kaye, this pure gore delight with a mental, maniacal and magical edge finds Anna Shepherd (Hunt) looking forward to the end of high school. But whilst her widowed father has high hopes of her going straight to university, she has other plans – jet-setting around the world to experience life before settling down. Suddenly though, a zombie apocalypse threatens her sleepy Scottish town, forcing Anna and friends to struggle, slash and sing their way to survival, facing the living dead in a desperate race to reach their loved ones. In a nutshell, think Shaun of the Dead meets Footloose with High School Musical in a pure gore delight with a toe-tapping beat.


(Dir. Tyler MacIntyre, 2023)

Tyler MacIntyre’s (Tragedy Girls; V/H/S/99) festive shocker, It’s A Wonderful Knife is all set to release on Shudder on AMC and everywhere you rent movies this December 1, 2023 and we can’t recommend it enough.

Directed by MacIntyre, and written by Michael Kennedy (Freaky), the film stars Justin Long (Barbarian), Joel McHale (“Community”), Jane Widdop (“Yellowjackets”), Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) Jess McLeod (“One of Us is Lying”) and Cassandra Naud (Influencer).

A year after saving her town from a psychotic killer on Christmas Eve, Winnie Carruthers’ life is less than wonderful — but when she wishes she’d never been born, she finds herself in a nightmare parallel universe and discovers that without her, things could be much, much worse. Now the killer is back, and she must team up with the town misfit to identify the killer and get back to her own reality. It’s A Wonderful Life by way of Scream.


(Dir. Joe Begos, 2022)

And we bring the list to a close with a brand new festive frightfest that is sure to become a go-to Christmas movie for years to come.

Written and directed by Begos, and starring Riley Dandy (That’s Amor), Sam Delich (Spiderhead), Jonah Ray Rodrigues (Satanic Hispanics, “Mystery Science Theater 3000”), Dora Madison (Alone with You), Jeremy Gardner (The Battery, After Midnight), with Jeff Daniel Phillips (The Munsters (2022), 3 From Hell) and Abraham Benrubi (Bliss, “ER”, The Belko Experiment), Christmas Bloody Christmas takes place on Christmas Eve, centering on fiery record store owner Tori Tooms who just wants to get drunk and party, until the robotic Santa Claus at a nearby toy store goes haywire and makes her night more than a little complicated. Santa Claus begins a rampant killing spree through the neon-drenched snowscape against a backdrop of drugs, sex, metal, and violence, ultimately forcing Tori into a blood-splattered battle for survival against the ruthless heavy metal Saint Nick with an axe to grind.


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