Krampus (2015): Christmas

Krampus.jpg

So for the longest time Black Christmas was my favorite Christmas horror film, and I still really love it but I think Krampus has stolen the title. This is a horror comedy set at Chistmas time and explores the myth of Krampus, a demon who comes to punish people who lose the Christmas spirit. Max is a little boy whose family doesn’t get into Christmas the way they used to. He reaches out to Santa in a letter to help bring back the Christmas spirit. But after his cousins make fun of him he throws it away, thus invoking the wrath of Krampus. A horrible blizzard comes out of nowhere and traps the family in the house. One by one they are picked off by Christmas demons, which are just amazing. Like there’s demonic gingerbread men and evil toys, it’s great. And unlike most Christmas movies, this ending is more… dark and ambiguous? This movie is so much fun, it’s dripping in Christmas imagery and has some really fun campy horror elements. I think all horror fans should check this out at Christmas time.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 9 Christmas trees

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Home Alone (1990): Christmas

Home Alone

This is one of those movies that I HAVE to watch every year or it just doesn’t feel like Christmas. I think it’s safe to categorize this film as a “classic” at this point, and I doubt there are many out there who haven’t seen it. This movie follows Kevin McCallister and his horrible family on a Christmas adventure. The McCallister family is going to Paris, and they have so many children that they somehow manage to forget Kevin. So he wakes up home by himself, but that’s not his biggest problem. Two robbers have scoped out his home and are planning to break in while the family is away. Kevin sets up a series of elaborate traps to stop them while his family attempts to get home to him. So I think nowadays this movie is kind of horrifying. Like a family flat out forgetting their child would definitely lead to a visit from social services in the present. But in the early 90’s? Things were different. And I think if you can suspend reality for a while, and not take it seriously, this is a really fun and silly Christmas movie. There’s snow and lights and decorations, a moral about the meaning of family, and tons of physical comedy. Now if that doesn’t say Christmas, I don’t know what does.

Netflix available?  No

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? Yes

Holiday rating: 9 Christmas trees

Family Guy: Christmas

“Road to the North Pole” Season 9, Episode 7

FG Road to the North Pole

So in second family Christmas special comes many years after the first and definitely highlights the stylistic changes the show went through from its early season to mid seasons. It’s one of the shows many Stewie and Brian “Road to..” episodes. In the episode, Brian and Stewie go to the mall so Stewie can see Santa. When Santa leaves before seeing Stewie, he vows to kill Santa and tries to convince Brian to take him to the North Pole. Brian doesn’t know how to break the news about Santa not existing, so he tries to trick Stewie by taking him to a fake North Pole. Stewie sees through it and attempts to begin his journey alone. Brian begrudgingly goes with him. Once they arrive they discover Santa and his workshop, but the conditions are quite dire due to humanity’s increasing selfishness. So Brian and Stewie commit to saving Christmas, but it may be harder than they anticipated. This episode is honestly great, it’s right before the show really went downhill. It’s beautifully animated, has some catchy music, and is FULL of Christmas imagery. I highly recommend checking this episode out to get you in the holiday spirit.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? Yes

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 9 Christmas trees

The Cleveland Show: Thanksgiving

“A Brown Thanksgiving” Season 1, Episode 7

TCS A Brown Thanksgiving.jpg

Cleveland is celebrating his first thanksgiving with his new family. His parents come to visit, and we get to experience Cleveland’s horrible relationship with his father. Donna’s aunt also comes to visit and starts up a secret affair with Cleveland’s father. When Cleveland learns that Donna’s aunt is secretly a man, he breaks it to his father and encourages him to improve his relationship with his wife. There’s also a side plot about Roberta wanting her boyfriend Federline to come to thanksgiving dinner. Honestly, this episode is pretty painful to watch. There’s a lot of homophobia and while the episode is clearly supposed to be a spoof of Norbit or Madea it comes across a little tone deaf. You can watch this if you like, but you’re definitely not missing out on anything if you skip it. The only thing I will credit this with is having lots of thanksgiving imagery.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? Yes

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 7 turkeys

That 70’s Show: Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving” Season 1, Episode 9

THAT '70S SHOW, Topher Grace, Jenny Maguire, ('Thanksgiving', Season 1), 1998-, TM and Copyright © 2

Laurie comes home from college for thanksgiving and brings home a friend who causes some trouble for Eric and Donna. She takes a liking to Eric and they end up kissing. He tells Donna who (obviously) gets mad. Meanwhile, Kitty is losing her mind because Red’s mother keeps calling and bugging her about being picked up at the airport. There’s also a subplot about Bob offering Red a job to help keep up with the bills. This episode is a fun Thanksgiving episode. I think the parts with Kitty are probably the most holiday themed, but the whole episode is a fun watch and I think makes a great addition to a thanksgiving marathon. I definitely recommend checking it out for some lighthearted 70’s thanksgiving vibes.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 7 turkeys

Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23: Thanksgiving

“It’s A Miracle” Season 2, Episode 4

DTTBIA23 It's a Miracle.jpg

It should honestly be a crime that this show got canceled it was such a work of art. This episode has two main plots, one being Chloe’s trip to her parents for thanksgiving with June, the other being James Van Der Beek volunteering at a homeless shelter to serve food. When James attempts to just make an appearance and duck out without doing any actual work, the shelter threatens to tell the tabloids about his behavior, forcing him to stay and actually do work. Meanwhile, Chloe surprises June by taking them to her parent’s house, which is especially awkward for June because she made out with Chloe’s dad and she’s pretty sure Chloe’s mom hates her. Chloe makes it even worse by revealing that she told the family that June had an accident and is now in a wheelchair, which is especially heinous because Chloe’s mom is also in a wheelchair. This episode is really funny and I can’t say I would expect anything else out of a thanksgiving episode on this show. It’s funny and cringey and while it’s really insane for some reason it works as a seasonal episode for me, I watch it every year.

Netflix available? No

Hulu available? Yes

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 7 turkeys

New Girl: Thanksgiving

“Thanksgiving III” Season 3, Episode 10

NG Thanksgiving III

Okay, so as I said in my review of the season two thanksgiving episode, this is tied as my favorite New Girl Thanksgiving episode. I think as an actual episode of the show I like this episode better, but as a thanksgiving episode I probably prefer season two because it’s a little more seasonal. In this episode, Coach teases Nick about losing his masculinity in his relationship with Jess, which leads Nick to spearhead a crazy idea: camping thanksgiving. The group reluctantly agrees to spend the holiday “living off the land”. Winston and Cece are less thank thrilled and Jess is just trying to make the best of it. Meanwhile, Coach and Schmidt are competing in their survival abilities in order to impress Cece. The episode hilariously culminates in Jess eating a fish to make Nick feel like a good provider and getting horribly ill. It may not sound funny, but trust me it is. This may not be a traditional Thanksgiving episode but it’s one I seem to come back to every year for some holiday laughs.

Netflix available? Yes

Hulu available? No

Xfinity available? No

Holiday rating: 6 turkeys