Christmas movies: The classics and the ones to avoid
NOTHING beats an Aussie Christmas. Big family catch-ups, backyard cricket and stuffing your face with ham, prawns and Nan's famous pavlova.
But then the afternoon rolls around and everybody's exhausted and ready to put their feet up while nursing that impressive food baby they've grown. It's time to grab another beer to wash down that extra slice of Nan's pav (there's still room right?) and play one of the best (or worst, if that's your thing), Christmas movies of all time.
1. Elf - Jon Favreau's 2003 comedy is one of the best holiday movies out there. Will Ferrell's Buddy is an adopted elf who travels to New York to find his biological father. It has laughs, magic and a cameo from Tyrion Lannister himself (Peter Dinklage), as an agro businessman who beats the crap out of Buddy.
2. Home Alone - John Hughes' 1990 comedy about a young boy (played by Macaulay Culkin) who wreaks havoc on two idiot burglars trying to break into his family's unattended Chicago home is as popular as ever with kids of today. Don't bother with its lesser sequels - the original is still the best.
3. Love Actually - Richard Curtis' 2003 romantic comedy is a favourite for the festive season. It delves into the different aspects of love shown through 10 separate stories with a massive ensemble cast working their magic. No one with a soul dislikes this movie.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas - If you want to try something a little different, Tim Burton's 1993 stop-motion dark fantasy is a fun, colourful adventure. Follow Halloween Town resident, Jack Skellington as he stumbles through a portal into unfamiliar Christmas Town.
5. Miracle On 34th Street - George Seaton's 1947 classic is a popular choice if you're after a bit more drama. It takes place between thanksgiving and Christmas Day in New York City and tells the story of a department store Santa who believes he's the real thing. If this is too old school for you, there's a '90s remake too.
1. Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas - This 2014 mess by Darren Doane is a "faith-based" comedy where Cameron plays a fictional version of himself, trying to educate the viewer by putting the "Christ" back in Christmas. (He literally speaks directly to the camera and tells you atheists have taken over the holiday.)
2. Krampus - Michael Dougherty's 2015 comedy/horror stars Toni Collette and Adam Scott. Based on Bavarian folklore, the titular character is an ancient demonic monster that punishes those who've lost the Christmas spirit. It's bloody, it's gory, it's daggy as.
3. I'll Be Home For Christmas - Arlene Sanford's 1998 comedy stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas (remember him?) as a college student who goes through a whole bunch of wacky (and totally unrealistic) situations, in a cross-country effort to get home for Christmas. Good luck staying awake through this one.
4. Surviving Christmas - Mike Mitchell's 2004 romantic comedy has all the big names but fails to hit the mark. Ben Affleck plays a money man who's busy work life has left him alone and miserable. Cue a nostalgic visit to his childhood home and a potential love interest in Christina Applegate and you've got a certified box office bomb.
5. Fred Claus - David Dobkin's 2007 family film stars Vince Vaughn as the one and only Fred Claus, Saint Nick's less fortunate brother. His resent and bitterness towards his older sibling gets tired pretty quickly and if you're like me, you'll switch it off or fall asleep before the end.