There is no doubt about it; Terry Gilliam's Orwellian satire Brazil is an absolute classic and cinematic masterpiece. Following Jonathan Pryce's bureaucrat Sam Lowry as he tries to correct an administrative error and becomes an enemy of the state, it feels like it has come straight out of one of Salvador Dali's dreams combining the surreal with dark political comment. Profound, thought provoking and genuinely scary, opening with a Christmas scene and with a later appearance by Santa himself it will be a chilly alternative to the festive cheer of your stereotypical Christmas film!
If there is one thing Scandinavia knows better than anyone else in the world it is how to make a thrilling crime drama! Based on a book written by Jo Nesbo, writer of Headhunters which has also been adapted into a film, Jackpot follows a group of men who have just won 1.7 million on a football bet. Packed with black humour, bloody violence, unexpected twists and witty dialogue, set at Christmas time in a Christmas tree factory it will bring you unusual festive cheer. If you love crime films, dramas and thrillers, this is the alternative Christmas film for you!
3. Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
Good pals Shane Black and Robert Downey Jr. did an excellent job with Iron Man 3, but Black's directorial debut Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang really showed what a dream team this pairing are. Set at Christmas time the film's murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress and a thief masquerading as an actor with hilarious consequences. With witty dialogue, a clever story, great performances and well drawn characters, this will bring you a lot of fun to cheer you up from the sadness that Christmas has been and gone so quickly!
4. Life Of Brian
In my opinion Monty Python's best work, the Life of Brian is an alternative Christmas tale that will get you laughing all night. Graham Chapman plays Brian, a man born on the original Christmas in the stable next door who finds himself constantly being mistaken as the Messiah. When reading the plot you automatically think 'this is never going to work' but it does beautifully thanks to a great script, performances and a satirical tone that can only come from the Monty Python team. You will not find this kind of film and sense of humour in your glossy Hollywood Christmas films!
5. Batman Returns
For those who do not know I am a massive Batman fangirl (although mainly of Nolan's trilogy) and so of course Batman Returns was going to make an appearance in this list. Tim Burton's second Batman film takes the franchise down a dark avenue as Batman battles Danny DeVito's Penguin in a snowy Gotham City. Michelle Pfieffer is sexy and mischevious as Catwoman and DeVito was clearly born to play the Penguin. If superhero antics are your thing, this is the film for you this Christmas!