IT'S THE WEEKEND: The best Christmas films

South Wales Argus: (3116026) (3116026)

CHRISTMAS is the perfect time to curl up with the family and a great seasonal movie. CARYS THOMAS takes a look at some of the best festive films.

HOME Alone has been named as the UK’s favourite Christmas film in a survey of the top 10 Christmas films.

The 1990 film, starring Macuaray Mukulin as an 8-year-old boy who is accidentally left at home for the holidays, received 12.89 per cent of the vote to be named best Christmas film. The survey was conducted by Viewsbank, the consumer survey arm of Consumer Intelligence, which asked 2,395 adults to vote for their favourite Christmas films.

David Black, of Viewsbank ,said: “Everyone loves sitting down with family and friends for some festive film watching at this time of year but it’s interesting to see what is making it onto people’s list of favourites. There are many classics on the list, stretching as far back as the 1930s, but the top 10 is just as well populated by relatively modern movies and a lot of the old classics may be virtually unknown to younger sections of society.”

In second place was Elf with 11.47 per cent, which stars Will Ferrell as a human raised in the North Pole who travels to New York to find his father.

James Plumb, director and proprietor of Mad Science Films Ltd, said: “The list from Viewsbank is great and certainly has some classics with Elf, a favourite with my four-year-old girl, and I can’t wait to introduce her to some of the others on the list, especially Home Alone.

“I’m a big fan of the Christmas-themed movies in general having directed a seasonal slasher myself, Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming. A personal favourite has got to be Scrooged with Bill Murray in the 80s facelift of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Murray’s rarely been better and placing the action in the middle of a TV studio shooting a Christmas special allows the film to comment on commercialism surrounding the holidays.

“Harder to get hold of is South Wales actor/writer Martyn Stallard’s A Christmas Carol. It’s a great low budget, 21st Century updating of the tale.”

Classics such as It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and Scrooge complete the top five. Three different versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol made to it to the top 10 with the 1938 version, starring Reginald Owen, ranking at number eight.

The 1951 Scrooge version came in fifth place with the Muppets’ version from 1992 starring Michael Caine as the 10th most popular Christmas film.

Peter Watkins-Hughes, director and spokesperson for Brynmawr Market Hall Cinema, said: “Die Hard would be my ultimate Christmas film. What more could you want for Christmas than Bruce Willis in a Santa hat and Run DMC’s Christmas in Hollis as the soundtrack? It is probably one of the best Christmas records to get you into the festive spirit.

“Not only is it a fabulous movie full of guns and helicopters but has Alan Rickman with an incredibly dodgy German accent. It will definitely be showing this Christmas in the Watkins-Hughes household – we might even have a Die Hard marathon.”

The Snowman was named by five per cent of respondents as their favourite Christmas film, making it the most popular festive animation.

Mr Watkins-Hughes said: “I can’t believe they have Snowman on the list I would pay for that film to be withdrawn from circulation. I’m glad Elf is there – I think it is an incredibly underrated film.

“White Christmas I think it is a bit too long now and has lost a bit of its magic. Some Christmas films have a tendency to be a bit like a cheesy TV movie.”

The BAFTA Cymru award winner believes the new Disney hit Frozen will be a Christmas film for children to revisit.

He said: “I think Christmas films which are about the season and don’t necessarily have Santa work better. Like Home Alone – it’s a slapstick comedy, the children love that.

“We go to the cinema at Christmas to retreat and have fun.”

Films missing out on a top 10 place include Love Actually, The Grinch, Polar Express and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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