After a long week you want to sit down and be able to watch a quality movie that will make you laugh, cry, sit at the edge of your seat, and have fun. Netflix Your Weekend is Reel World Theology’s weekly pick for a movie currently available on Netflix Instant that will not only entertain but make you think and engage the story you are watching. If you have a suggestion for a Netflix Instant movie, email Josh at J.A.Crabb22@gmail.com with the subject line “Netflix Your Weekend”.
NETFLIX YOUR WEEKEND – THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
It’s the Halloween season and my not-so-scary movie month recommendations continue! This past week, I sat down and re-watched a classic that I have seen multiple times as a kid, The Nightmare Before Christmas. I remember that I never saw this movie at home, but I would go to my uncle Murray and Aunt Pat’s house and watch this with my cousins and brother. What I love about this movie is that it is a great Halloween movie and is also a great Christmas movie. It is the perfect blend of Halloween scariness and Christmas joy and whimsy. This is definitely a movie for your elementary school kids, since the images are kinda scary but are not done in a gory or overly scary way. It might cause some bad dreams, and I would be cautious about that, but I don’t think I remember this movie ever freaking me out as a kid or now.
This movie has not aged for me at all. It firmly plants itself in a very timeless space, which benefits the movie greatly. Also, the animation is so good, distinct, and unique that keeps it seeming fresh and visionary. Unlike most Claymation that always seems it was filmed in a brightly lit studio, The Nightmare Before Christmas is intentionally dark, even Christmas Town is dark, and has an aesthetic of creepiness unlike most other animation. The juxtaposition of the bright and upbeat music and small town cheeriness of the characters with this darker lighting and visuals works so well and is truly Burton’s masterpiece of vision. It’s amazing how well this movie works and will continue to inhabit the normal list of movies associated with Halloween.
One more fascinating facet of this movie before I finish my recommendation. On the note of this movie being associated with our cultural consciousness of the holiday season, this movie was tad prophetic in its storyline of how Christmas and Halloween collide. It was not so much the case in 1993, but definitely 20 years later, Halloween and Christmas are both lumped into the perpetual shopping fest that starts after summer known as “The Holidays”. Starting with Back to School and ending with Easter, this season is known for the next season’s sales starting way too soon and the bleeding together of different holidays with one another. The Nightmare Before Christmas and the trees with all the holidays on them was almost a forecasting of what we sometimes see when we walk into Target or Wal-Mart. I’m not saying the movie predicted the commercialization of everything, but it was unique in that it was a prominent intermixing of two major holidays in the American cultural imagination. I’m sure I could wax about this a lot longer, but I will spare you and commend this movie to you for a not-so-scary Halloween pick. Happy movie watching!
***Please note that these suggestions can be time sensitive, and if you read this article next month the selection might not be there due to the ever changing lineup of available titles on Netflix Instant. All the more reason to watch this movie this weekend!***