7.) The Nightmare Before Christmas
Hey, Tim Burton: You got Halloween in my Christmas. Or is it vice versa? Either way, this stop-motion masterpiece proves that children's holiday tales don't need to be caked in red and green sugar to hit their mark. Spooky and haunting and stylistically righteous, this movie proves that a little pumpkin spice can counterbalance all of that peppermint.
6.) Less Than Zero
Based on the Brett Easton Ellis novel, Less Than Zero is the black diamond of holiday films. Dark, hard, cold, angular and seductive, it holds you in the near-vomit spin of ultra-posh '80s LA. It sits alone on the Christmas video rack, like a pink, pre-lit tinsel tree surrounded by a field of natural-born Douglas firs. It's seedy, crushing and raw, and is set around a holiday reunion gone wrong.
5.) Edward Scissorhands Remember when Winona Ryder used her crazy eyes for good instead of evil? Like back in the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp/Danny Elfman heyday? This is that time, and is possibly the very best film Burton has ever brought us. Estranged from society as an unfinished project, Edward has a lot of love to give. But will he find the suburbs receptive to his desire for inclusion? It's going to take a lot of Avon products to make that happen.
4.) Planes Trains and Automobiles
No matter how many times those Hollywood execs try to remake the ol' "Gotta get home for the holidays, and I'm stuck with this slob" plot angle, it falls flat. Of course it does; it's already been done perfectly by Steve Martin and John Candy. The ultimate straightman to Candy's boorish salesman, Martin is all-consumed with making it home for Thanksgiving dinner. But as any holiday traveler knows, those best-laid plans are often coupled with explosions, burglaries and three-day adventures.