‘Gremlins’ Is The Best Christmas Movie, So Let’s Rank Some Gremlins

Senior Pop Culture Editor
12.23.16 21 Comments

In recent years, the internet has collectively decided that Love Actually is the worst Christmas movie, and Die Hard is the best Christmas movie.

Neither of these statements are true.

Love Actually is bad, gross, and everyone in the film is a terrible, selfish person, but have you seen Deck the Halls? Now there’s a bad Christmas movie. As for Die Hard: look, I’m not going to offer the ultimate hot take and say Die Hard sucks, because it doesn’t; Die Hard is a perfect action movie, maybe the perfect action movie, and I watch it (and Muppet Christmas Carol — don’t judge) every December. But it’s barely a Christmas movie. The film takes place during an office Christmas party, and Alan Rickman’s line-reading of “ho ho ho” should have won him an Oscar, but the holiday isn’t an integral part of the plot. Die Hard could have just as easily been set on Independence Day or Halloween. It’s not even snowing! All Christmas movies should have snow.

The horror-comedy classic Gremlins has snow, and it takes place around Christmas, and there are Christmas trees, and a monologue involving Santa, and a Darlene Love song, and the basic plot is “dad buys his son a Christmas present.” That, along with the Looney Tunes-inspired mischief the Gremlins get into (especially that rascal Spike) and how screenwriter Joe Dante alternates between loving and hating Christmas, is why Gremlins is the best Christmas movie. And there’s no better scene in the best Christmas movie than the bar scene. There are so many Gremlins to look at, and so many hijinks ensuing at once, that I slowed down the antics to rank the 10 best Gremlins in Dory’s Tavern (minus Spike; he’s better in the department store, anyway).

Die Hard is great, but it doesn’t have a Gremlin dressed like Humphrey Bogart.

10. Fan-Swinging Gremlin

The first Gremlin we see in Dory’s Tavern is also one of the rowdiest. It swings around on a rotating ceiling fan, and wears a festive Santa hat. Now that’s one party animal I want to hang with. How do you think it got up there? My money’s on some other Gremlin, possibly the snot-picking one, tossed it.

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