8 Things The Die Hard Movies Tell You About Christmas

"Welcome to the party, pal!"

Movies set at Christmastime typically have a cheery, rose-tinted worldview, but the first 2 Die Hard movies aren't having any of that. Ignoring most of the traditional motifs, the films tell you that once the season is stripped of its saccharine sentimentality, what's left is not a pretty sight. Consider Die Hard's plot: a thief breaks into a building on December 24th, feeds the media some tosh about his motivations and, while a group of "experts" discuss his intentions, proceeds to rob them blind. The fact that Hans Gruber is German is not incidental - Santa Claus is believed to have evolved from Odin, the German god who rode the skies delivering gifts. Like Santa, Hans claims to symbolise something, but all he really wants to do is pull the wool over your eyes and pick your pocket. When Holly McClane cottons to his game, she calls him a "common thief", which puts Hans in one of his worst humours. Gun in hand, he faces her and snarls, "I am an exceptional thief!" So this is not your traditional Christmas fare, and the world is a better place for it. In these films, you will find no peaceful platitudes or seasonal homilies, just a bunch of bad guys whose capers reveal everything you never wanted to know about the holidays.
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Ian Watson is the author of 'Midnight Movie Madness', a 600+ page guide to "bad" movies from 'Reefer Madness' to 'Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.'