24 Days of Christmas Films: Day 15-Miracle on 34th Street

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The words genuine and heart-warming has been thrown around a lot this month in regards to some of the films on this list, but believe me when I say that this is the iconic film that first inspired those feelings.

Although the 1994 version will always hold a special place in my heart as I was obsessed with Mara Wilson after Matilda, it’s the 1947 version that I think truly embodies Christmas spirit.

Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara) is an event planner for Macy’s Department Store and after finding that her hired Father Christmas is drunk, a man named Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) offers to take his place. He does so well that he ends up working as the store Santa but due to his continual insistence that he is the Father Christmas he ends up committed to a mental institution, and his only option is for the court to be convinced that his is the real deal once and for all. It sounds like a slightly depressing concept initially but the real joy in the film comes from Kris (spoiler alert) convincing everyone, in particular Doris’ sceptical young daughter Susan (Natalie Wood).

Watching both young children and adults fall under Kris Kringle’s spell and rediscover their belief in him is so uplifting and enjoyable to watch, and in the end I think that’s part of the success as I believe everyone would deep down still like to believe in Father Christmas. The performances are outstanding and the natural chemistry between the characters, especially between Susan and Kris Kringle is integral to the reason this film continues to inspire people over 50 years after its release.

“Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to.” It’s that optimism that runs throughout the film, and that’s why I had to include it on this list as I think that’s what people quintessentially love about Christmas, the idea that it feels like anything can happen, maybe even a miracle.

 

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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!