It’s December, which means things are about to get a lot more Christmassy around here. Obviously, most of the streaming services have already been pushing their festive content since the 1st of November but I like to put it off for as long as possible. There’s only so much that I can take. In the past, I’ve attempted to watch one Christmas film every day in advent. I really don’t think I could do that to myself this year. There’s so much happening. Instead, I’ll just review one every week of the month. Seems manageable. And what better place to start than Netflix. The platform has long been giving Hallmark a run for its money with their paint by numbers approach to holiday films. One year, I dare them to do something unique. Until then, we’ve got the same old story but with new faces.
I’m writing this on the 16th day of December, which means we’re on the 16th day of advent. This means I’ve just watched my 16th Christmas film this month. I’ll be honest, I’m starting to get a bit tired of festive movies. It doesn’t exactly help that the majority of them have been terrible. This is mostly because I just went with whatever was available on Netflix or free on Prime. Also, time was a factor. I’ve had to go for shorter films this week in order to fit everything in. Regardless of the reason, I’ve been subjected to a fair few dreadful films. Admittedly, there have been some high points but, I’ll be honest, Fred Claus wasn’t one of them.
Disney+ didn’t start streaming in the UK until March this year but it debut in the certain countries last November. One of the first original films to be released on the service was this Anna Kendrick Christmas film. For the subscribers like myself who didn’t have access to Disney+ last year, the film was released last month. I can’t say that I was exactly relishing the idea of watching Disney’s answer to Fred Claus and it was only partly because I find Kendrick’s quirky schtick a bit tiring. However, I need to start making the most of my subscription at some point. The only things that I’ve watched on it so far are The Simpsons, The Lizzie McGuire Show, and Recess. I have plans to watch a load of Star Wars and Marvel stuff over Christmas but, until then, I’m always looking for opportunities to watch.
Non-religious Christmas films tend to follow the same basic stories depending on what genre they are. Those based on A Christmas Carol are pretty self-explanatory. Then you have the romance: a young workaholic realises that love and happiness should come before their career thanks to the interference from an elderly relative/something magical. Or the family film: a workaholic parent realises that they should be putting their family first so runs out of the big presentation just in time to see their child perform in the Christmas show. Both of these will inevitably end with the whole cast standing near a piano with their arms around each other and singing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. Finally, you have the Santa Claus origin story: in which a kindly but childless man is chosen/decides to spread joy to other people by leaving presents under their tree at Christmas. We get it. We’ve seen it. So, I wasn’t sure what Netflix’s new animation Klaus was going to bring to the table besides a dreamy cast of voice actors. Still, I needed a break from all of the A Christmas Prince and Vanessa Hudgens nonsense.
Now, we already know that Netflix have added some pretty questionable Christmas films this year but I actually had some hope for this one. It’s Kurt Russell for fuck’s sake. Kurt Russell playing Santa. I love Kurt Russell. I love Santa. It’s a dream combination. Then I saw the trailer and it looked like a Frankenstein’s monster made up from the tired narratives of old Christmas films. So my excitement started wavering a bit and I put it to the bottom of my pile. Then I watched The Princess Switch and decided it couldn’t be as bad as that. And, there have been loads of people at work raving about it. Once again, I swayed due to popular opinion and decided to watch it this week. Well, that and the fact that the only one I really have left t watch is the stupid magical advent calendar one and that looks even shitter than A Christmas Prince 2. And, if nothing else, Kurt Russell was sure to be perfect as Santa, right?