Looking for a movie that’s a little off the beaten path to watch this holiday season? Maybe a little bit dark? Maybe a little bit sinister?
Here are a few films to add a little Noir to your Noel.
CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE, 1944 – A lonely child that lives in a fantasy world on a cold Christmas Eve.
CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, 1944 – Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly, must be a fluffy musical, right? Wrong! Gene Kelly’s crazy and Deanna Durbin is the lucky gal that enters into a demented relationship with him. Noir, noir, noir!
BLAST OF SILENCE, 1961 – A hit man in New York for the holidays. Brilliant narration performed by Lionel Stander.
BATMAN RETURNS, 1992 – Take out the stupid one-liners and the jokes that fall flat, and this is really a terrific, weird Batman Christmas movie.
DEAD END, 2003 – A horror film about spending Christmas Eve in a car. Excellent!
KISS KISS BANG BANG, 2005 – Shane Black seems to have a thing for Christmas (look at LETHAL WEAPON, THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT and IRON MAN 3). This is my favorite. Set around the holidays with a private eye, an actor/thief and an aspiring actress.
THE ICE HARVEST, 2005 – Harold Ramis’ wonderful, funny adaptation of Scott Phillip’s wonderful, funny novel about robbery and strippers on Xmas Eve.
WIND CHILL, 2007 – Another horror film about spending Christmas Eve in a car. Also excellent!
IN BRUGES, 2008 – Martin McDonagh’s version of Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter.” Another film set around the holidays and, to me, Bruges looks like a quaint Christmas village. Fantastic performances.
THE MERRY GENTLEMAN, 2008 – A romantic fable about a suicidal hitman and a woman escaping an abusive relationship. With Michael Keaton, Kelly Macdonald and fellow Abbie-Fest traveler Guy Van Swearingen.
Bonus Film – HOLIDAY AFFAIR from 1949. It’s a romantic comedy, far from dark and sinister, but you should watch it because it’s great and it has Robert Mitchum (you should watch everything that has Robert Mitchum). This will have to suffice until someone discovers Mitchum’s long-lost “Max Cady Christmas.”
And DIE HARD, 1988. It doesn’t necessarily fit on this round-up, but every list of holiday movies should include DIE HARD.
Finally, here’s a Christmas Carol about Yetis killing everyone at the North Pole.