Dreaming of a cinematic White Christmas with a decidedly dark side
‘Tis the season to be jolly, sure, but “The Night Before” isn’t the first movie to explore the darker side of Christmas. Here are other notable examples:
Gremlins (1984) A small all-American town is overrun by a horde of mischievous green monsters on Christmas in Joe Dante’s much-loved smash, which helped influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating.
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Die Hard (1988) Though not a holiday movie per se (among other things, it opened in July), the Bruce Willis action film is set on Christmas Eve and routinely makes its way onto lists of the best Christmas movies of all time, R-rated or otherwise.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) Tim Burton’s fantastical stop-motion animated twist on holiday fare earned rave reviews and strong box-office returns but was deemed too frightening for small kids.
The Ref (1994) Denis Leary starred opposite Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis as a criminal who takes a married couple hostage on Christmas Eve, only to be driven around the bend by their endless bickering.
Bad Santa (2003) A foulmouthed, alcoholic criminal (Billy Bob Thornton) uses his part-time job as a department-store Santa as a cover for a con in Terry Zwigoff’s pitch-black comedy.
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Krampus (2015) In this horror-comedy starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette, slated for release Dec. 4, a family is attacked by a demon from Germanic folklore who punishes misbehaving children during the Christmas season.
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