LUV – Christmas 24 provides the comfort your own, Argos-tainted real-life Christmas lacks.
Before your eyes gleams a land of pristine, cuddly snow that never turns to slush (unless it serves as a pivotal plot device). Adorable duckling-voiced poppets ask “Mommy, will Daddy be home soon?” as they bake suspiciously perfect-looking cookies on Christmas Eve. Workaholic fathers gain a new perspective on what really matter thanks to vaguely supernatural happenings blatantly pilfered from seasonal classics like A Christmas Carol/It’s A Wonderful Life/Poltergeist. Negligible production values abound, meaning a film written and produced in 2013 can magically also be screened in 2013. That’s freshness.
There are none of the nasty surprises more high-quality films spring on you. You won’t have your mind shanked by confusing timelines, like in Looper. You won’t have to shrink from the sight of anyone suddenly having their gums stomped out, like in every Ryan Gosling film released this decade. The avuncular bearded neighbour won’t be revealed to have a secret basement where he twerks in the blood of slaughtered children, like in the passion project I’m currently struggling to get off the ground.
And then there’s the has-been spotting. At the time of writing, today’s Christmas 24 films collectively feature Ione Skye, Shannon Elizabeth, Alicia Witt, Judge Reinhold & Dean Cain. Isn’t the opportunity to examine Judge Reinhold’s face 25 years after Vice Versa the best Christmas gift of all?
– Stuart Waterman
HAT – Look, I realise that I should love Christmas 24. If Christmas is about anything, surely it’s watching endless formulaic low-budget tonally-inconsistent filmed-in-Canada festive TV movies where Carmen Electra tries to stop three children from buying their terminally ill mother her final pair of shoes. But I cannot live a lie. Deep down, Christmas 24 infuriates me.
Why? Because all the films are made with such manipulative dead-eyed cynicism that you can physically feel the Christmas spirit being ripped out of your face as you watch it? Because quite a lot of the films are just hapless remakes of existing rom-coms that just happen to have the word ‘Christmas’ in their title? Because I once watched Christmas 24 for 12 hours straight and ended up losing my mind?
No. I hate Christmas 24 because, for six weeks of the year, it replaces Movies 24. And no Movies 24 means no formulaic low-budget tonally-inconsistent filmed-in-Canada sexy TV movies called things like Wicked Desire and Illicit Sins, where randy detectives uncover a plot to blackmail a promiscuous pornography magnate, before solving the crime by having endless softcore humpathons with everything that moves and making a sort of ‘ooh’ shape with their mouth a lot. Where am I supposed to watch sex without Movies 24? The internet? Away with you.
– Stuart Heritage