24 Days of Christmas Films: Day 14- Arthur Christmas

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Another one of the more modern entries on this list but I couldn’t resist including it as I think it’s one of the smartest, most genuine Christmas films I’ve ever seen.

We’re introduced to Father Christmas (Hugh Bonneville) and his two sons Steve, the focused man on the ground in charge of running Christmas operations, and Arthur (James McAvoy) his good hearted but hopeless son who is in charge of the letter department. After a terrible mistake Arthur takes it upon himself to rectify it, and with his GrandSanta (Billy Nighy) and a wrapping elf named Bryony (Ashely Jensen) he sets off to ensure that no child will ever be without a gift on Christmas.

The thing I like most about this film is how it plays on the traditional Christmas myths such as making ‘Santa’ a title which is passed down, and the ingenious explanation as to how Father Christmas manages the incredible feat of delivering presents to all the children across the world in one night.

The recognisable voices add a sense of inherent likability to the characters, as although you might not be able to name the actor, you know the voice and relate to the character as a result. The family focus of the film and Arthur’s determination to deliver the forgotten present means it’s truly heartwarming to watch, but also manages to create genuine sentiment which is what makes it so enjoyable too. It’s such a witty and intelligent film that it makes it a perfect choice for both adults and children and is a sure fire way to keep everyone happy on Christmas day.

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24 Days of Christmas Films: Day 12-A Charlie Brown Christmas

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This is an oldie but a goodie. While my sister and I never really watched the Peanut cartoons when we were little (I preferred the comics), my mother used to love them and it was a love she used to try to pass on by encouraging us to watch this every year.

With imaginative, relatable characters and iconic music it’s not surprising that A Charlie Brown Christmas is something that still manages to compel children, long after they’ve transitioned into adulthood. It’s surprising re-watching it as an adult how profound the message is behind this short film, as when I was little all I noticed was the Charlie Brown was sad about Christmas. But as an adult I realised that it’s actually the widespread of commercialism that’s got Charlie down, and is the cause as to why he throws himself into directing the Christmas play, although alas to no avail. As Charlie’s friends come together and we see Charlie realise that there is still more to Christmas than shopping and presents, it’s not just Charlie’s spirits who are raised. Whilst Linus’ recitation of Luke 2:8-14 highlights the simple intentions of what Christmas should really be about, peace and goodwill to all men.  Whether you’re religious or not it’ll have a different impact for you, but as someone who is the latter I love this reference as it brings me back to my childhood performing the Nativity, and the genuine joy and promise that Christmas would bring every year.

At its core that is what a Charlie Brown Christmas is all about, characters coming together in a touching and sentimental way to remind us what should be most important at Christmastime, and that is something that I think we sometimes need to be reminded of.

 

A Halloween Film For Everyone

BeFunky CollageMy favourite time of year is finally upon us, Halloween! For those of you that don’t fancy venturing out this year I thought I’d suggest some of my favourite spooky films to get you in the Halloween mood. There’s something for everyone from classic horrors, an indie take, one for those who aren’t a fan of scares and some blasts from the past, so let’s get cracking.

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Halloween

A cult classic and one of the few original horror films that still stands the test of time in delivering heart-stopping moments, so a perfect one for true horror fans. Not to mention as the title suggests, it’s perfectly suited to watching at this time of year, although not one I’d recommend watching alone (trust me on this).

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It Follows

This is one of my standout films of 2015 and one of the few films I’ve seen recently that’s genuinely scary. It’s a great choice for hardcore horror fans that are looking for something different although I warn you after seeing this film you’ll probably never want to have sex again…

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Hocus Pocus

Possibly the most famous Halloween film of all time, and trust me it’s a cult classic for a reason. With songs, magic and brilliant 90’s fashion it perfectly epitomises everything that’s good and fun about Halloween and makes you wish you could go trick or treating again.

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Monster House

This is one of those films that although being a children’s film it is deceptively scary. Playing on the classic scary neighbourhood house idea, it’s about three kids who find out once they get trapped inside it that it quite literally has a mind of its own. It’s the perfect mix of being brilliantly creepy but with a heartfelt story at its core and is definitely one that people of every age will love.

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Sleepy Hollow

Another lesser known spooky film starring Johnny Depp (when he was still making brilliant films) and made by Tim Burton which should give you an idea of how brilliantly Gothic it is. With Christina Ricci (who holds a large place in my heart due to Wednesday Addams), some swoon worthy costumes and lashings of blood and beheading it treads the balance between gore and guts and a genuinely good storyline at its core.

I hope this post has given you a couple of ideas of what to watch this weekend and let me know what your favourite Halloween films are as I’d love to know. Finally I just hope that whether you’re staying in or heading out tomorrow night you have fun!