In my humble opinion, the sappiest writer on the staff is me. I will talk about my feelings and cry a lot if anyone disagrees. My track record shows that I have a penchant for being sappy and sentimental about the most random things like click bait articles or video games.
The winter holiday is pretty much the equivalent of a soft, fuzzy puppy for me. The winter holiday should be renamed to sappy and sentimental”¦ holiday. That doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but you get the point.
A bright, happy refuge from the darkest, coldest nights. You drink warm eggnog while eating amazing food with all your friends and families. You give and receive gifts that show your appreciation and love. What could be sappier than that? It is just way too easy.
Too many stories end in redeeming arcs and happy life lessons. Conflict only exists to give characters an obstacle to overcome. This year, I want to rub coal all over myself and embrace the dark and cold aspects of this holiday season.
I’ll start by talking about my favorite anti-holiday films. Without, these films are either kind of silly, kind of creepy or kind of just plain dumb.
The best one, “Gremlins,” is all three. I remember watching it as a kid and never even realizing that it was set during the holidays. I was too terrified of these cute, adorable, mischievous creatures that multiply with water and turn into monsters when they eat after midnight. There were hundreds of Gremlins by the end of the movie and although the heroes manage to kill all the evil Gremlins, Billy doesn’t get to keep the one good pet””take that, Billy!
“Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is a modern take on a noir story with Iron Man as an unlikely detective who has to uncover a bunch of lies, witness a bunch of murders, fight off hench and become best friends with gay Val Kilmer (who is amazing). It is a really funny movie set in the holiday season but, for all its humour, it is not a very happy movie. I love this movie but, wow, it gets dark.
In “Trading Places,” Dan Aykroyd plays a successful broker who becomes homeless after his life gets yanked from him and given to a homeless man. This movie showcases the Eddie Murphy from the era of good Eddie Murphy movies. In the film, Dan Aykroyd is framed as a thief, an adulterer and a drug dealer. All his assets are frozen and he gets fired from his job and pushed away by his fiancee””all due to a dollar bet between two rich brothers. It’s one of the worst things you could do to a person next to forcing someone to watch Eddie Murphy’s last five movies.
“Home Alone 2″ disturbed me as a kid. One, having parents as dumb and careless as his seemed awful. You left the same kid twice in a row? Secondly, the idea of being trapped in New York by myself while being chased by two criminals was terrifying. If I starred in the movie, I would have probably been grabbed by those goons in the first five minutes and spent the rest of the movie being tortured.
Instead, Kevin McCallister decides to torture/humiliate/basically murder Joe Pesci and Not Joe Pesci for two hours.
I watched the French film “A Christmas Tale” in high school and was quite scarred. I remember just staring at the credits at the end thinking, “What the hell did I just watch?” Here are some highlights: incest, cancer, alcoholism and awful family relationships. Those French really know how to make a Christmas movie.