Halfway through the 1st Round of The Chris Mack Holiday Movie Tournament, we may not yet have blowouts in the rearview mirror, but we are starting to solidify what should be some quality 2nd Round match-ups: Planes, Train, and Automobiles vs. Die Hard, Miracle on 34th Street vs. It’s a Wonderful Life, and Dr. Seusss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas vs. Bad Santa all have ‘legendary battle’ written all over them. And based on the outcome of today’s contest, we could be in for yet another epic next week when A Christmas Story enters the fray.
Ralphie and Randy and the Bumpus’s dogs and the Red Rider BB gun may have an opponent walking into the back alley on Cleveland Street that would bloody a nose a la Ralphie the time he messed up Scut Farcus: Kevin McCallister and The Wet Bandits.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because if we get what would be a huge upset today, things could be turned upside down.
Despite trying to remain neutral in these battles, this is one where I’ll be honest tell you I don’t see how Home Alone loses. A true classic, it’s two hours of a kid playing out every kid’s fantasy on film: Doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it, ruling the house, and creatively, inventively, and bravely saving the day. Not having to deal with siblings or parents or anyone else while being a de facto superhero? “Yes, please!” said every 7-to-11-year old ever.
UNLESS, you’re just not in to mainstream holiday fun, and you want a movie that revolves around the idea of taking over Christmas and making it more Halloween-y, for lack of a better term.
If you were the kid who discovered Marilyn Manson early on, sat in the back of the classroom in all black with eyeliner on, and generally found the ‘cool,’ and ‘popular’ kids crushingly annoying and oblivious, there’s a good chance The Nightmare Before Christmas was in your wheelhouse.
In fact, there’s a chance that if you were 10 or 11 when Home Alone cam out, you like dit then but turned on it and traditionally ‘fun’ holiday movies by the time Nightmare came out, and actually feel a bit conflicted about this match-up.
Either way, if Nightmare pulls off the upset, it gets Christmas Vacation next and The Santa Clause would take on A Christmas Story. If Home Alone holds the chalk, it will get A Christmas Story, and we’ll get the Chevy Chase-Tim Allen face-off in the 2nd Round.