Northwest Film Event Highlights – December 2014

As expected, this month's film events have a Yuletide vibe, with classics like Die Hard, Gremlins and The Muppet Christmas Carol heading to a big screen near you

Preview by Simon Bland | 08 Dec 2014

What do you want for Christmas this year? If your answer is “movies, movies, movies,” then you’re in luck. December has a sackful of festive offerings and your name is on every single one of them. First up, we head to Manchester Central Library for a crafty screening of seasonal favourite Elf (6 Dec). Hosted by Spectacle, Spectacle, this event kicks off with a creative workshop inviting you to make your very own pair of 'Magic Lenses.' You’ll then be able to watch Buddy’s fumbled attempts to reconnect with his grouchy father in headgear that’d make any elf envious. PVA and glitter at the ready, people.

Cornerhouse have a great little film season in store for you this month with Merry 80s Christmas. While not all technically Christmas movies, they do evoke the sense of fun we associate with the holidays. Join Atreyu and Falkor on 6 Dec for The Neverending Story, followed by Thanksgiving gem Planes, Trains and Automobiles (7 Dec), the irrepressible Ghostbusters (11 Dec), action classic Die Hard (12 Dec), muppet-tastic Labyrinth (13 Dec), fantastical adventure Willow (14 Dec) and the campy Big Trouble in Little China (20 Dec). All of them are cinematic time-capsules not to be missed.

In Liverpool, FACT have a scattering of festive films throughout December and there’s some real crackers. Joe Dante’s devilishly delightful Gremlins (12 Dec) is bound to get you in the seasonal spirit as smalltown boy Billy Peltzer discovers his cute new pet has a dark side. You’ll then be able to catch Robert Zemeckis’s motion capture version of A Christmas Carol (13 Dec), the original Miracle on 34th Street (14 Dec) and of course, that holiday staple, The Muppet Christmas Carol (20 Dec). It wouldn’t be Christmas without it, right?

After a Christmas chuckle? Get yourself down to the latest double bill from Retro and Dangerous at Gorilla. They’ve got the Griswolds round for a special screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation followed by Arnie’s notorious 90s kids-flick Jingle All the Way (14 Dec). Written by John Hughes, Christmas Vacation is a series highlight with true family spirit. Talking of spirit, hopefully the festive cocktails will be flowing by the time Turbo Man takes to the screen – you'll need them.

Meanwhile, Jack Skellington swaps Christmas Town for Manchester to jump start Grimm Up North’s Tim Burton season, celebrating the atmospheric chill of one of Hollywood’s most distinct and enduring voices. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Odeon Printworks, 11 Dec) is your lot this month but expect more from this season in 2015.