Is Die Hard a Christmas Film?

The Well of Souls

Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan)

Most Christmas films are awful. Most films in general are awful, so it’s not surprising. But are the good ones, the ones actually worth your time, even Christmas films at all? Where do we draw the line between Christmas as a setting and Christmas as a genre? In consequence, I propose a new subgenre: the almost-a-Christmas film. Obvious examples for our fantasy Blockbuster Video section would be: Diner, Trading Places, Gremlins, Batman Returns, every film written by Shane Black, and, of course, John McTiernan’s Die Hard.

These films have Christmas as a setting, but it’s of little or no importance to the story. Die Hard doesn’t need to be set at Christmas; it’s only necessary that a party is taking place at Nakatomi Plaza for the “Eurotrash” terrorists to gatecrash. However, and this is the key to an almost-a-Christmas film, Die Hard would lose…

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