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There are Christmas movies, and then there are the REAL Christmas movies. Alternative Christmas movies, or Christmas-adjacent movies as they’re sometimes called, are regular films that have the holiday incorporated into them somehow.

It can be a single but key scene to the whole feature, it can be simply borrowing the iconography with Santa hats and other Northern Hemisphere Christmas tropes like snow. One thing that is a pre-requisite is that it doesn’t fall into the classic ‘formula’ of a Christmas movie – you won’t find sentimentality in these films.

Today, Dark Horizons presents a list of our favorite ‘alternative Christmas’ movies. Almost all of these have been debated about as to whether they qualify as a ‘Christmas’ movie, some famously so. From the psychosexual shenanigans of “Batman Returns” to the darkly comedic fun on “In Bruges,” there’s a healthy mix of cinema here, and all are worth your time.

One caveat is that I tried to avoid the inclusion of films where Christmas was too integral to the plot which is why great holiday comedy classics like “Scrooged” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” aren’t here as they basically are widely accepted as Christmas movies these days.

What are your own favorite Christmas-adjacent films? Feel free to voice yours in the comments below, and happy holiday to everyone.

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