Genre: Christmas, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy.
Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Glover, John Forsythe, Alfre Woodard, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen.
Year Of Release: 1988
Certificate: PG (UK)
Runtime: 101 Minutes
Director: Richard Donner
Synopsis: “A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.” IMDB
Another welcome spin on a Christmas classic, this time featuring the dead-pan, tiresome and insulting genius that is Bill Murray as our new ‘Scrooge’, Frank Cross, who maintains a straight-face as he bounces from sequence to sequence in a mad-cap, brutal and crude interpretation that is a perfect alternate festive film for the darker, more mature fans.
While not full of bad language and sex/violence, this does deal with topics like alcoholism, suicide, homelessness and other festive fun. Murray steals the show as no matter what surreal or comical situation he is placed in, be it facing off against a violent Christmas ghost, dressing up in a dog suit or giving a heartfelt monologue to the audience, he delivers it all with a straight-face; enjoying the moments he can be a bastard to children and the elderly, and reveling in the moments he can be likeable and loving, which he does very well.
With a good supporting cast including the delight fully sweet Karen Allen and a haunting Tim Burton-esque soundtrack, the gags are plenty, but played more for black comedy rather than slapstick over the 90mins runtime.
This is a seasonal classic for the ages, showing the funnier, darker side to Christmas for those who are fed up of the usual festive schmaltz.