Christmas time is here once again. Sorry Thanksgiving, you’re great but everyone knows you’re just an extension of Christmas now. In addition to roasting chestnuts, slugging back eggnog, and throwing away the fruitcake people keep bringing you, it’s time to break out your favorite holiday movies. This year, if you’re looking to get beyond the Hallmark channel and actually leave your house and interact with humans, here are 10 holiday film screenings in the Valley. From classics to remakes of classics, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Black Christmas (2019)
This holiday season, the slay ride begins with a remake of the 1974 classic slasher film. Blumhouse Productions announced in July that they would be releasing a remake on December 13th to coincide with Friday the 13th. However, Film Bar of Phoenix is giving horror fans a sneak-peak with an advanced screening on Friday December 6th. The film chronicles a group of sorority girls who are being killed off one by one by a crazed killer. However, unlike the 1970s version, these 21-st century girls aren’t content with being hapless victims in yet another body count film and actually fight back.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been six whole years since the original Frozen came out. Now, Disney has finally come out with a sequel. Begin your holiday festivities by making a return trip to Arendelle.
The Christmas season isn’t complete with this timeless holiday romance that started the ‘multi-story format with an all-star cast’ craze. Sadly, no other holiday movie with this format has ever lived up to the OG of this genre (looking at you Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve). If you’ve ever thought that Joanna’s version of All I Want for Christmas Is You, is lowkey better than Mariah Carey’s then you’re in luck. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Chandler is screening the film on December 6th.
We’ve had plenty of Christmas slashers over the years from Christmas Evil to Silent Night, Deadly Night, but now we’re finally getting a Hanukkah slasher. This Friday The 13th, Silver Saver Cinemas is screening the Phoenix debut of this new film that Victor Mereno, host of Cult Classics AZ called, “a veritable festival of frights.” The film chronicles the return of the legendary ‘Hanukiller’ as he hunts down and kills a group of teenagers over the course of eight days. The movie stars Sid Haig (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects) in his final film role ever.
No, not the creepy elf that sits on the shelf and terrifies children. Will Ferrell’s holiday classic about an over sized Elf who journeys away from the North Pole in search of his real father left audiences with six pack abs when it first came out in 2003 from too much laughter. Fortunately, this year, various Harkins theater locations are screening this Christmas classic on Tuesday, December 10th.
Based on the 1914 Christmas truce between opposing sides during World War I, this highly regarded opera film is coming to the Arizona Opera on December 18th. This opera film was nominated for an Academy Awards when it first came out in 2005 and features the voices of two of today’s top opera stars, Natalie Dessay and Rolando Villazón. The screening for this is at FilmBar at 7pm.
A Muppet’s Christmas Carol
This Dickensian classic has been retold in just about every way possible. From the Flintonstones Christmas Carol, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, all the way to Bill Murray’s Scrooged this has been one of the most popular Christmas movie motifs of all time. In 1992 however, the Muppets put a fresh felt materialized spin on this classic tale. This year, the Phoenix Center for the Arts is hosting a screening presented by the Phoenix Film Collective on the first of December. With a pre-screening presentation by Stacey Gordon of Sesame Street, start your season off right.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
The Santa Claus slasher has been done many times including in an episode of the show Tales from the Crypt. Few however have been as successful as the 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night. This year, Alamo Drafthouse in Tempe is screening the killer Claus classic, fittingly, on Christmas eve.
The Polar Express
For years Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book of the same name has been a holiday season staple. Like most great books, a film adaptation was inevitable. On December 14th, visit the North Pole for yourself at various Harkins Theater locations as they screen the Polar Express. What started out as a book has now become one of the best Christmas films out there.
Perhaps one of the fiercest debates among movie critics is whether or not Die Hard counts as a Christmas movie. *Spoiler*: It is. Learn the true meaning of Christmas and watch NYPD cop John McClane fight German terrorists (it takes place on Christmas eve ok). Check out any of Film Bar’s screenings this year running from December 21st through Christmas day.