Christmas time is family time and what better way to spend holiday evenings together than gathered around watching a movie.
In New Zealand, we now have several ways to legally stream endless films and TV shows, and among them are more festive flicks than you can shake a candy cane at.
So how will your family narrow down the choices this silly season?
We've put together Aotearoa's essential 2019 Christmas movie streaming guide, broken up into three categories: the classics - for easy, warm familiarity; the unbelievably cheesy for those so-bad-it's-good laughs; and shocking Christmas horrors, for grown-up families who like their entertainment dark.
Ten classic Christmas movies and where to stream them:
- Home Alone - Disney Plus
- The Holiday - Playing on Three at 8:40pm, December 24
- Love Actually - Microsoft Store, iTunes and Google Play/Youtube Movies
- Elf - Netflix
- Die Hard - Microsoft Store, iTunes and Google Play/Youtube Movies
- The Grinch - Lightbox
- Nightmare Before Christmas - Disney Plus
- It's A Wonderful Life - Microsoft Store, iTunes and Google Play/Youtube Movies
- Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas - Disney Plus
- Jingle All the Way - Google Play/Youtube Movies, iTunes and Microsoft Store
Five hilariously cheesy Christmas movies:
A Christmas Prince 3: The Royal Baby
New Zealand's reigning queen of cheesy Christmas movies has done it again - Rose McIver is back in her third outing as Amber, the journalist-turned-Queen of Aldovia. This Netflix series has developed a bit of a cult following in Aotearoa and is dubbed by The Spinoff as "stupid, wild and wildly stupid."
What a way to kick off the big day itself! At 8:25am on Christmas morning, Three is broadcasting this magically cheesy movie about a snowman somehow becoming a real-life Prince Charming type, only to teach the main star that her true love was her best friend since childhood. Or something like that.
The Knight Before Christmas
Another one about a Prince Charming type saving an unlucky, out-of-love lady at Christmas. But this time, the guy is literally a knight in shining armour, transported to today from the 14th-century. Hilarity and romance ensue. Streaming via Netflix
Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
The arrival of Disney Plus last month brought a slew of cheesy Christmas movies, but this amazingly titled Christmas dog movie that includes cute little puppies looks like the most essential.
Christmas Wedding Planner
Yes, the titular wedding planner is an unlucky out-of-love lady at Christmas who is unsuspectingly swept off her feet from a tall, dark and handsome guy. The 86 minute movie on Netflix reveals how it all ends - but this 90-second trailer on YouTube pretty much does too.
Five merry bloody Christmas horrors:
Warning - the following trailers contain scenes that may offend.
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
The sequel to the greatest Christmas horror of all time is available through iTunes and will make for the most twisted family Christmas viewing possible (grown ups only, of course). But be warned - this was made in far less PC times and will likely offend many of today's viewers.
British movie based on the German myth of a witch that comes on the 12 days of Christmas, taking children each night. It's streaming via Amazon Prime Video and amongst so many killer Father Christmas types, the female representation is nice to see.
OK, this isn't actually a Christmas movie - but it does have a Christmas scene in it! The dark satire about American greed based on the extremely notorious novel can be streamed via Lightbox and iTunes.
Dead by Christmas
This no-frills Christmas slasher is available on Amazon Prime Video. If you want your festive horror looking and feeling like a student film, this is the one for you.
Better Watch Out
A nasty home invasion horror set at Christmas, this one pulls some interesting narrative tricks that keep it unpredictable. It's mean-spirited and stylishly made and available via Google Play/Youtube Movies, iTunes and the Microsoft Store.