Why Die Hard is not a Christmas movie


Photo via 20th Century Fox

Poster for Die Hard

Rin Gatley, The Delphi Staff

As the wintertime is swiftly approaching, Christmas movies are a must-have for the season.  When choosing your family’s Christmas movie line-up, Die Hard should not be included as a holiday film.

For those of you who have not seen Die Hard, here is a quick overview of the film. Die Hard is a classic action movie in which John McClane, a New York cop played by Bruce Willis, is visiting his wife for a Christmas party when suddenly terrorists take over the building. The movie follows McClane as he tries to defeat the terrorists and stop them from stealing the money, as he is the only person who is not taken as a hostage.

The elements that are needed for a movie to be a Christmas movie are that the movie has to take place around Christmas time and the vital plot points must include a Christmas-time theme, such as family or togetherness.  While Die Hard takes place on Christmas eve, the movie has little to no Christmas elements, and the overall movie could honestly even take place without the Christmas parts.

To compare, a movie like Elf, clearly a holiday classic, could not take place without the Christmas elements.  Elf takes place around Christmas, but the overall theme of the movie also revolves around the Christmas spirit and being together as a family.

The flaw in Die Hard is that the movie isn’t actually about Christmas; it’s about a terrorist attack.  The movie is filled with action, violence, guns, and suspense: classic action elements.  Although the movie takes place on Christmas Eve at a Christmas party, the movie would be practically the same without the measly added Christmas elements.

Christmas is not important to the core plot of the film, and at the end of the day, it is simply an action movie.