COLUMN: Could Christmas Movies Be Making a Comeback?
It’s almost that time of year.
Christmas is a time where people put up trees, decorate their houses in some of the most eye-popping ways possible, build gingerbread houses, spend time with their families. Of course, for many, what they truly celebrate is what Peanuts comic character Linus pointed out in the classic special A Charlie Brown Christmas – celebrate the birth of Christ:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night, and lo the angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid, and the angel said unto them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a savior, tis Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
Linus’ monologue couldn’t be more important in these uncertain cultural times.
Of course, while liberal Hollywood refuses to acknowledge how much audiences are craving Christmas movies that channel Christ’s spirit, they provide graphic films instead. For example, one of the highest-grossing movies earlier this fall was the horror movie It based on Stephen King’s book. This is not about me, it’s perhaps one of the most violent and disturbing movies ever made, featuring brutal dismemberments by the titular clown-like monster (including one involving a young child’s arm) and a scene where a 13-year-old kills his father with a switchblade. And you won’t believe the praise it got from liberal film critics.
As for this season, Huayi Brothers are peddling the R-rated film A Bad Moms Christmas, starring three moms (played by Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, and Mila Kunis) engaging in lewd behavior upon realizing how unappreciated they are by their families.
Why not show something wholesome every now and then? The Christmas season offers plenty of that kind of content, but we have seen less and less of that since 2013. Instead, a studio like Universal Pictures brings us Christmas-themed horror movies like Krampus (seriously?), essentially showing that they will do nothing but insult their audience.
Luckily, all that might be changing this year. Japanese electronics giant Sony, which owns the uber-liberal Columbia Pictures studio, also runs a much smaller Christian conservative movie company in Tennessee called Affirm Films – whose movies Columbia distributes. This studio, perhaps best known for the box-office hit Heaven is for Real, is releasing a movie called The Star – an animated re-telling of the birth of Jesus as told through the perspective of a donkey.
A re-telling of the Nativity!? It’s not very often you would see that in the cinema, wouldn’t you say? Even though this is one of the few mainstream theatrical Christmas releases this season, it’ll hopefully instill confidence that there are studios out there that still want to release seasonal films for all ages.
For those who want more of them this holiday season, then look no further than the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas event, which starts right at the dawn of November. In an era where most sitcoms and dramas on the “Big Three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC (as well as a variety of cable channels to some extent) all seem to be focused on social engineering aimed at affluent liberals in the big cities, Hallmark has a wide variety of wholesome, positive programming catered to the Middle America audience that has long been frowned upon in Hollywood, especially around Christmastime.
These movies are usually corny and formulaic romantic comedies, but they are the perfect antidote for a lot of the politicized smut that swamps the TV industry anymore. And the best part about these movies is if you are a parent with the full-time job of monitoring what your children watch nowadays, they’re clean, positive throwbacks to when feel-good Christmas movies were mainstream in the American entertainment industry they can take heart in showing to their children without the fear of something inappropriate popping up (which happens far too often).
Just as there is an audience for evil clowns who eat children in unspeakable ways or parents engaging in some pure debauchery, there is an even larger audience out there waning a sense of escape, including entertainment that celebrates the birth of Jesus. Both Sony and Hallmark have learned that lesson recently, so when will other Hollywood studios catch on? Only time will tell.