There’s nothing quite like settling down on the sofa with a glass (or three) of mulled wine and watching a feel-good family Christmas film. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But maybe it shouldn’t.
Now we don’t want to be the Grinch here, but there’s actually a dark side to many of your favourite Christmas films that may make you look at them in a whole other light.
Image: 20th Century Fox
Widely regarded as many people’s favourite Christmas film, Home Alone is full of madcap hijinx as a fresh-faced Macauley Culkin takes down Harry and Marv, the Wet Bandits, trying to rob his house.
And of course Kevin was accidentally left alone by his entire family who head off on holiday. This, quite frankly, is horrendous parenting, something which gets completely overlooked. As does the horrible name-calling and isolation he’s subject to at the hands of his family. We can only assume social services were heavily involved afterwards.
Also, the fact that Kevin is so skilfully able to plan and take down Harry and Marv is surely the work of a would-be psychopath. No wonder Culkin has turned out the way he has…
And then it all goes and happens again!
Jingle All The Way
Some people love it, others hate it, but Jingle All The Way is a deceptively dark film. Arnie plays a parent who doesn’t see his son all that often, but instead of spending quality time with him, spends much of the film away from him trying to buy his love with a toy. A toy that was actually bought by someone else first, and yet he tries to steal it off him.
Image: 20th Century Fox
And then of course there’s the sinister bomb plot.
Elf is probably the most recent Christmas film to be regarded as a classic, and we agree that it’s great. However, have you stopped to think what’s really going on?
Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf is, quite clearly, not a well man. His overly happy demeanour is the behaviour of someone who has not had a healthy childhood. He can’t cope well in social situations, struggles to interact with adults and doesn’t understand the consequences of his actions. There’s a good chance he has a form of autism or a type of personality disorder, which isn’t itself a dark side of the film, but the fact that this makes him the butt of the jokes is somewhat alarming.
Image: Warner Bros
Although we suppose that what makes Buddy ‘special’ is what makes people happy in the end.
It’s a Wonderful Life
This one isn’t even subtle. Although considered by many to be the ultimate feel-good Christmas film, many seem to forget that the whole film is centred around a man contemplating suicide and considering putting his family through hell over Christmas.
Of course it all ends happily, but it’s not exactly dripping with festive cheer for much of the film.
A gem of a film, but one that has its fair share of darkness. Where shall we start? We have someone in a mental hospital, a man whose girlfriend cheats on him with his own brother, Rick from The Walking Dead tries to break up a marriage, a husband who cheats on his wife (and he definitely did), and then a deleted scene of a woman dying from cancer.
We definitely didn’t cry though. There was a fly in our eye and we were trying to drown it.
A Christmas Story
Do you have kids? What’s on their Christmas lists? A bike? Computer games? An 8Ball t-shirt? Not 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, the protagonist of A Christmas Story. Nope, Ralphie wants a gun. A. Gun.
Image: Warner Bros
And he only bloody gets one! Straight from the Republican Party school of parenting.
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