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If Die Hard Isn’t a Christmas Movie, Then Neither Is Home Alone.

If Die Hard Isn't a Christmas Movie, Then Neither Is Home Alone:

Unwrapping the Parallels in These Festive Holiday Favorites

As Black Friday (Month) graciously offers it’s final taste of leftover turkey, before you know it, we are bauble’s deep in the festive season. Which brings up the annual debate as to whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not. While I know there’s really no debate to be had (It blatantly is), those who err on the side of ‘Die Hard is not a Christmas Movie’ may have to endure the eggnog dropping, nostalgia shattering notion that Home Alone isn’t either.

Don’t shoot the messenger but based on the counter argument, Home Alone is NOT a Christmas movie. If you just can’t agree that Die Hard is absolutely a Holiday movie, then you must concede that Home Alone isn’t either, because they are the EXACT. SAME. MOVIE.

Ratings aside, you might be surprised at the mind-blowing similarities between the two films.

Let’s dive a little deeper ya filthy animals!

1. It's Christmas

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. Both movies are set at Christmas time, with the festive theme navigating the turbulence like a pack of flying reindeer. 

Our hero’s are rewarded with their Christmas wish of being reunited with their loved ones, and both Die Hard and Home Alone have a snow filled happy ending, accompanied by….you guessed it, Christmas music.

Oh, and it’s no accident McClane’s wife’s name is Holly!

2. McCallister and McClane: One Man Army

Our protagonists are thrust into a Grimm situation where their only option is to step up and become the hero.  Tired, alone and confused, they navigate the situation swiftly, coming to the stark realization that it all falls on them. They must defend their home, family and future. Whether it’s party crashing terrorists* or a pair of bumbling Bandits, they must be stopped to save the Holiday for everyone, by any means necessary.

*I know we have been referring to Hans Gruber and his gang as terrorists, when in actual fact they are thieves. Yep, just another perfect connection between the two movies, both sets of villains are “common” thieves.

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3. Cunning Villains: Not Who They Seem

Every Christmas movie needs it’s villain. Whether it’s the Grinch, Ebenezer Scrooge, The Wet Bandits or Hans Gruber, they all have the same goal, to ruin our hero’s day. Christmas Day. 

In this case, both villains attempt to pull the wool over our hero’s eyes. The Wet bandits pose as police officers and plumbers while scouting their next victims, whereas Hans Gruber changes his demeanor and accent, posing as a hostage himself, to get the upper hand on John McClane during an unexpected encounter. 

Both charades are short lived as our hero’s quickly unwrap the truth.

4. Making the Most of the Environment

Despite the differing scenarios and locations, both McCallister and McClane use their immediate environments to their advantage. With a festive sprinkling of ingenuity and adaptability, they set traps, lure the bad guys right where they want them, and deck the halls with their enemies. Both are forced to improvise at various times, executing with the perfect amount of holiday spirit. Who knew that Christmas decorations and office supplies could be such effective weapons!?

5. A Secondary Hero to the Rescue

When it comes down to it, our  main characters just can’t do it all on their own. Sure, they formulated the plan, executed the steps, thought they won, and that all was merry and bright. But it’s not always that easy. When you underestimate the opposition, sometimes, the hero needs a savior of their own. Fortunately both movies decorate the fir of foreshadowing beautifully. Old Man Marley takes the Wet Bandits out with his trusty shovel, and Sgt. Al Powell finally gains enough  courage to defy his trauma-laden past and pull the trigger once again, delivering some Christmas justice. 

Not only does the secondary hero save the day but they have a redemption arc as well. Old Man Marley repairs his fractured relationship with his son and is able to see his granddaughter. Sgt Al Powell digs deep and brandishes his weapon to save a life. We learn earlier in the movie that he has been living with the guilt of accidentally taking one in the past. 

In the end, the night is not so silent, but there is much to celebrate.

6: Bonus Bauble: Christmas LITERALLY saves the day

Ok, so Home Alone’s use of Christmas to save the day is a little more on the shiny red nose; tree ornaments under the window et al… but, Die Hard is (a little) more subtle.

Remember when John McClane has been cornered towards the end of the movie and Hans has his wife Holly. After a seemingly endless bout of maniacal laughter, McClane pulls the gun, that he had taped to his back moments before, and shoots. And what tape did he use… Christmas wrapping tape.

Even the Die Hard Cinematographer changed his opinion!

That’s right! The man himself, Jan De Bont – Die Hard Cinematographer, couldn’t help but agree, after years of simply “not seeing it”.  All thanks to Ralphie (played by Peter Billingsley) from “A Christmas Story”, who decided to weigh in and help us put this to bed once and for all! 

Check out the article in the Hollywood Reporter

Yippee Ki-Yay, Ya Filthy Animal

Regardless of which side of the decorated staircase you decide to slide down, you have to admit that these comparisons make for a pretty compelling argument.

So this holiday season, why not gather your loved ones around a roaring fireplace, top-up those mulled wine glasses, and have it out once and for all!

Winner gets to decide which movie to watch.

Happy Holidays.


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