Resolved: Die Hard 1 is not a Christmas movie, it's a Halloween movie.

Please read OP before voting in poll

A lot of people think that a blockbuster that was released in mid-summer is a Christmas movie simply because it takes place on Christmas. This is absurd. It’s the same sloppy thinking that makes people say “Sound of Music” which takes place across at minimum a full year and probably two is a Christmas movie because of the single line “Brown paper packages tied up with string…”

If Die Hard is anything beyond the best action movie ever made, it’s a Halloween/horror movie. Think of the basic beats of the movie:

Gruber and Co go into an almost deserted building (the hostages don’t count for this purpose since they’re unarmed and can’t/won’t fight back). One by one, something starts taking out their people. From Gruber’s point of view, it could be a ghost, a slasher in a hockey mask, a tentacled horror or a cop-turned-bad.

In every way, this is the classic haunted house trope, except for the reverse POV (the bad-guys being the teenagers going into the house and the “slasher” is a cop trying to take them out one at a time).

Thus I resolve: Die Hard, as a classic Haunted House movie, is more sutitable to Halloween than Christmas.

Uh, no.

When evil bogeyman takes out (more or less) innocent teens one-by-one, that is a Halloween movie.

When righteous off-duty cop-dude takes out evildoers one-by-one, that is an extra special Xmas.

What kind of Grinch are you, anyway?

Clearly you haven’t read a Very Die Hard Christmas. It’s a Christmas movie. One of the best. Better than anything Hallmark churns out.

Nope. Still “haunted house” but the bogeyman is the good guy and the teens are the bad guys.

Humbug. My heart ain’t growin’ no three sizes.

Die Hard is pretty clearly a Christmas movie, and people who say it isn’t are… I don’t know, weirdly set in their ways or something.

You cannot define Die Hard out of being a Christmas movie without constructing a definition that is either

  1. Too exclusionary in that it excludes many movies that are also Christmas movies, or
  2. Just a silly definition meant specifically to exclude Die Hard.

Die Hard actually has the most common plot used in Christmas movies; a man trying to better himself and get back to his family, or do something for his family, with the time constraint being that he must do it before, or by, Christmas.

Die Hard is not a Christmas movie. It is THE Christimas movie.

I voted Action movie. I barely remember any Christmas stuff in the movie at all.

But the OP’s theory does hold water. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil also involves that sort of reverse POV, and it is definitely a horror movie. Comedy/horror, but still, nobody files it under anything but horror.

Well, of course it is. German terrorist’s body placed in an elevator and sent down to his evil cohorts, dressed in a Santa Claus hat…???

Clearly the OP is choosing to disregard the obvious.

Now, the last time we had this poll a couple years ago, I’m pretty sure I voted “not a Christmas movie,” but, as you can tell with my last response, I’ve solidly come over to the “Christmas movie” side. Back in 2013, just over 70% of poll respondents voted “Christmas movie.”

Gruber is a smart bloke. He swiftly realises there’s one man opposing him (and soon works out his name and occupation.)

I think you have a great imagination and there could be a film based on a bunch of heavily-armed robbers stumbling into a horror movie situation - but Die Hard is not that film.

And Die Hard is an Xmas movie!

Yes, it’s set at Christmastime, but is that in any way relevant? As I understand it, it’s only relevant in so far as the hostages were there for a Christmas party. But would the movie have been substantially different if it were set in (say) May, and the party was for some guy’s retirement?

is this a use of the word “resolved” I’m not familiar with?

edited to add:

yeah, to me a “Christmas movie” has a plot which is built around the holiday (e.g. A Christmas Carol.) in Die Hard, Christmas is only relevant as the reason people were gathered on that floor of the building while the rest of it was mostly deserted.

same for Home Alone. That’s not a Christmas movie either.

You mean, like Bruce Willis?

I’d sooner say it’s a RomCom than a Christmas movie.

There’s a Deadpool comic that’s pretty much explicitly this concept - Deadpool infiltrates a terrorist helicarrier and systematically hunts down everyone on board, like the monster in a horror flick. The cover’s even an Alien homage.

I think there’s really only two reasons for possibly considering it a Xmas movie.

The get-together of the senior staff in the otherwise deserted building, as suggested upthread. But that’s surely the sort of minor detail any scriptwriter could have covered in any decent script. A Xmas party is a reasonable excuse, but that’s about it.

The bigger issue seems to be why McClane is travelling to LA at all. The nature of the set up is that he isn’t travelling back with any particularly realistic expectation of a proper reconciliation. It’s Xmas, so they’ll at least go through the motions for the kids’ (?) sake. The bigger issues in the relationship are still unresolvable at the start of the film.
That narrows it all down. But to this Brit, wouldn’t this aspect of the plot have made as much sense as, say, a Thanksgiving setting?

Basically, I think that while the Xmas aspects are integral to the film as made, they could have been fairly easily handled otherwise.

Then there’s the fact that it (at least in the UK) hardly specifically gets shown at Xmas. Love Actually is here the far more obvious and more recent example of something that only gets screened in the couple of weeks before Xmas. At least here, Die Hard just doesn’t have that sort of tradition.

Apparently. It’s use in a debate context just means “the topic that we are about to discuss.”

I tend to agree with you. Which is why I have trouble thinking of “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a Christmas movie, either, except by long association.

It is a Christmas movie, as has been proved time and time again, but the wording in the poll is way biased, so I shan’t vote.

Nah, It’s A Wonderful Life is still about people learning The Real Meaning of Christmas, even if it takes a long path through many years to get to there.

I literally just watched this. Like…I finished watching about 1 minute before posting and was composing much of this while the closing credits were playing*. At no point whatsoever is there any hint that the time constraint you mention exists.

That said, taking out the time constraint and suddenly your definition of a Christmas movie includes the Wizard of Oz (Dorothy has to stop being such a crybaby and get home to her family) and Gilligan’s Island.

Thus, I’m right. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, they kept playing Ode to Joy. Other than “Silent Night”, the vast majority of the music was “winter” (“Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”) not Christmas. If they’d played The Nutcracker Suite to the same degree they played Ode to Joy, I’d think that there might be a hint of a Christmas theme. But no.

Also, Siam Sam. The poll is completely and utterly unbiased. It says so, right at the top. That said, I will wipe bitter tears from my pillow knowing you’re not participating. :wink: :smiley:

*It is a sin to not listen to Ode to Joy when it’s playing.

Do you guys not get IFC in your cable packages over there?

IFC Puts the Debate to Rest with an All-Day “Die Hard” Christmas Marathon