It's often been debated that the first true slasher movie out there was 'Black Christmas', which essentially takes a 'Halloween' concept, but makes it even more creepy and realistic, and has developed one hell of a cult following. After that special Christmas movie, director Bob Clark decided to make another one a little more family friendly. Thus, we got the instant Christmas classic, 'A Christmas Story'.
'A Christmas Story' is all about a kid named Ralphie (Peter Billingsly) during Christmastime of 1940. All he wants for Christmas this year is a *deep breath* a "Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time." Sounds like a pretty badass gift, even by today's standards.
The entire film is based around him trying his hardest to essentially 'Inception' the idea into anyone who might possibly give in. This includes asking his parents directly, writing a Christmas letter as a school project about it to his teacher, and even going to the big man himself at a mall. However, the response is always the same; "no, you'll shoot your eye out."
While the film centers on Ralphie, it includes a good array of characters he has to put up with along the way. His dad (Darren McGavin) is a strict war veteran, his little brother, Randy (Ian Petrella) is a whiny little brat, and his mother is the closest thing to a person who understands him, yet it probably the most opposed to him having the air rifle. Other characters namely include two bullies; Scut Farkus (Zack Ward) and his sidekick Grover Dill (Yano Anaya), and his two best friends, Flick (Scott Schwartz) and Schwartz (RD Robb).
This movie tend to be one of the more timeless Christmas movies out there, as there's surprisingly not a whole hell of a lot like it. The main focus of the film is a kid who wants something so badly for Christmas, he'll go out of his way, legally, to try to get it. It's a situation I'm sure we all end up facing at one point or another, and this actually illustrates it all very well with a pretty damn funny, and relatable sense of humour about it all.
It's smart, it's funny, it's even a bit strange in some areas. But chances are, 'A Christmas Story' will remind you of what it was like being a kid around Christmas. I won't spoil it for you, but I will say that is all ends in the overall appreciation of the holiday. Not a bad one for a Christmas Eve night before bed time with the whole family.