From Home Alone to Zulu (yes, really), the team at Prospect share their favourite Christmas filmsby Prospect Team / December 26, 2017 / Leave a comment
Home Alone (1990)
By Alex Dean (Deputy Digital Editor)
In his 1990 review of Home Alone, critic Roger Ebert wrote that the film “shows a genius for remembering what it was like to be young.” He’s right—and that’s why the story of little Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin), who is left home by himself when his family goes on holiday without him, is the best Christmas film of them all.
Kevin is understandably terrified when he first works out what’s happened to him. But this is where the film taps in so well to the eight year old mind. Once the initial panic dies down he makes the most of the situation. He stays up late, and there’s that great scene where he watches Johnny Carson and eats ice cream. It has become an adventure. He’s more excited than scared now.
The best bit is of course when the two “wet bandits” try to break in. What follows is a lesson in self-sufficiency: Kevin has learned to cope on his own. He takes them both out with those elaborate booby traps, and by the time his parents get back he’s not the same helpless kid anymore.
No wonder it did so well at the Box Office, becoming the highest grossing comedy film of all time. I’m a big fan, and I’ll be forcing my family to watch it at least a couple of times this Christmas. It spawned a good sequel too—if you ignore the unfortunate cameo by Donald Trump, that is.
Bad Santa (2003)
by Sameer Rahim (Managing Editor, Arts and Books)
Everybody hates Christmas. At least we all hate the sterile, joyless, suburban shopping centre Christmas, with the overbearing parents and spoiled kids. But never fear: all you modern Grinches need to watch Bad Santa, the evil twin of Miracle on 34th Street. It is a consistently bad taste comedy that takes us the darkest corners of the human soul—and then lifts us back up, just in time.
Billy Bob-Thornton’s Willie, a self-loathing foul-mouthed sex addict, is our Santa. Every Christmas he teams up with Marcus (a pugnacious Tony Cox), his dwarf assistant, to rob the malls where they work. Willie is an outrageous lord of misrule. Faced with anything good he wants to destroy it—most memorably the advent calendar of a bullied kid. What makes it so funny is…