Ebenezer Scrooge has been the world’s most recognizable grouch since 1843. That year, Charles Dickens presented Scrooge in all his miserable glory in the novel A Christmas Carol. Since then, the grumpy old man has seen the stage, the tube and the big screen in a number of interpretations. But what movies would Scrooge watch if he time-traveled to 2010? We’ve made our best guesses.
One could assume Scrooge’s main goal during a modern Christmas would be to cozy up by a warm fire and watch some movies. He would unplug the phones, shut off his computer and pop in as many DVDs (or Blu-rays) as possible. Scrooge would pump up his surround sound system to drown out any wandering carolers and sink into his lonely little world.
Ebenezer Scrooge’s tastes would be relatively easy to gauge. While some ignore the holiday spirit completely, Scrooge finds it so frustrating that he openly opposes it. Naturally, his favorite holiday movies would have some kind of alternative take on the holiday spirit.
Let’s take a look at Scrooge’s Christmas playlist, entitled Bah, Humbug!
One of the most obvious picks on this list is Bad Santa. Billy Bob Thornton turns Christmas on its back and pours his beer all over it. His character is arguably one of the dirtiest human beings ever depicted on film. The sloppy, oft-drunk and always sleazy Willie embraces the corrupted side of the Christmas spirit.
While the young boy Willie encounters in the film is just as cute and cuddly as he is disgusting, even the most heartfelt moments of the film would put a smile on Scrooge’s face. There is always a dark cloud hovering overhead when something good happens. There is no question Scrooge would be applauding Willie and his partner, Marcus (Tony Cox), for their dirty deeds during the holidays.
While we’ve left out direct adaptations of A Christmas Carol, Bill Murray stars in this modern day twist on the famous tale. As a narcissistic TV executive, Frank Cross (Murray) is only concerned with himself and has no room for Christmas. The three ghosts that antagonize him throughout the movie make things a little stranger.
Of course, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future coax Cross into a series of events that will change his outlook on life and the holidays. Scrooge may not like the ending to this 1988 film, but (like any other egocentric individual) he will surely appreciate the homage to his snotty attitude.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Leave it to a Tim Burton story to expose the dark and creepy side of Christmas. The stop-motion animated feature has some truly inspired concepts of the spirit of Christmas. The film’s main character, Jack Skellington, is the pumpkin king of Halloween Town until he stumbles across Christmas Town. Befuddled by the completely different atmosphere, he tries to get his fellow Halloweeners to help him celebrate the late December holiday. Unfortunately, their macabre talents don’t translate the Christmas spirit so easily.
While there is plenty of happiness spread around in this film, it is a dark tale. It’s safe to assume Halloween is one of Scrooge’s favorite holidays, so he would likely get into the movie. The characters are eerie and their actions are disturbing, but the movie sure looks at Christmas from a different angle – one Ebenezer Scrooge might appreciate.
Both the 1974 and 2006 versions of Black Christmas are perfect for Scrooge. Assuming he can handle a few scares, nothing would make him happier than seeing some sorority girls meet grisly fates on the most wonderful night of the year. Nothing would please him more than a re-imagined holiday, where sleigh ride is spelled S-L-A-Y.
Scrooge may be an old man, but every one of his darkest desires will be satisfied by Black Christmas. As Santa Claus tiptoes across rooftops, Scrooge could pop this movie in and lay underneath his camouflage Snuggie with a bag of popcorn whispering “humbug” to himself.
Die Hard isn’t your typical Christmas movie – the holiday takes a backseat to Bruce Willis’ heroics. But Christmas is still a part of the film and Die Hard essentially reminds us that not everybody gets to sit around the fireplace and spend Christmas Eve with their family – some get to spend it with fellow hostages.
While Die Hard does not directly explore Christmas, we can imagine Scrooge needs his action movie fix and what better choice than Die Hard? He could even choose the sequel, which also takes place on Christmas Eve. My only concern is that Scrooge might not be too happy with the carols sung in the film.