With Christmas having been and gone you do tend to have a brief moment of self reflection in the dead period leading up to New Years Eve. For some may reminisce about coming together as a family or possibly eating as much as they can without dying. For me its about the endless barrage of Christmas films on television. Every so often though you get that one family member who says that a certain film can only really be shown at Christmas than any other point of the year. Enter Die Hard.
Die Hard is a classic and it would be hard to debate otherwise but if there is one question that has people debating endlessly its on whether or not Die Hard can be legitimately called a Christmas film or simply a film that takes place at Christmas. There are indeed contrasting themes in many Christmas films but they usually all give you that warm feeling towards the end with the exception of some horror related Christmas films like 'Krampus' or 'Silent Night, Deadly Night'. Die Hard on this occasion does give you that warm feeling despite all that has happened in the film you hear that poignant "Let it Snow" song as the credits roll which should cement this film into the Christmas film catalogue.
Its no surprise to say that Die Hard is a particularly violent and occasionally vulgar movie but then comparing it to something like 'Bad Santa' which is 90% rude and 10% well intentioned I love to watch it at Christmas as well as during the year not just because of the last minute redemption message towards the end but also because its just a goddam riot. Home Alone is another example where a vast majority of the film is Kevin McCalister home alone and scared stiff (or at least we should relate to that) and also fighting off burglars in his house in comedic and painful fashion. The mother and the rest of the family coming back to Kevin at the end of the film symbolises the importance of having your family around you for Christmas. This symbolism takes place in a film where two guys get a blow torch to the head, a rusty nail through the foot, and a paint can to the face. HO Ho Ho indeed and yet the message is still there loud and clear.
This makes me dismiss some complaints of Die Hard that say because its violent it cant possibly be a Christmas film. Well why does Home Alone get away with it? I feel more uneasy about some of the painful moments in that film than I ever did with Die Hard. Terrorists aren't usually the first thing you think of when Christmas comes to mind and yet it just works. Somehow it just works. Perhaps the right Christmas film doesn't fit a certain tickbox but rather is a mixture of many different themes and ideas. And to resist getting too philosophical I will leave it here. Die Hard is neither a Christmas film nor a film for any othertime of the year. It is a rare breed of a film for all who just enjoy a good movie. Concentrate too hard on the question and you will find your enjoyment of it diminishes over time. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you good times to come in the New Year.