by Anthony King
But first, a recap. While I've yet to see Pearl (2022), I have seen Ti West's X (2022) twice this year. I can say, without a doubt, that the best way to watch X is in a secluded cabin in the woods where it gets so dark you can't see one foot in front of you, let alone anything happening outside your windows. We escaped to the woods this past weekend for some fresh air and ice skating, and after the kids went to bed one night we turned on the satellite and saw X was just starting on Showtime. It seems most of the buzz around this new franchise is coming from Pearl, but X still has its cheerleaders. Most people, in fact, seem to have loved X. But upon my second watch, even though the setting was fitting, I didn't get why people seemed to be losing their shit over this movie. It's well made by one of my favorite directors, the performances are good, the music is haunting, yet it still seems like a mediocre Tobe Hooper tribute at best. I'm all for Tobe tributes (Tobutes?), so I'm glad we have this one. But X is just another middle of the road slasher movie that I don't see myself revisiting any time soon. In a year supposedly full of great horror, 2022 is actually just full of horror. Nope, X, Barbarian, and The Black Phone are the most popular horror films of 2022 according to Letterboxd. When I look at that short list I see four movies I'll forget about by year's end. It's a shame when movies like Mad God, Saloum, The Wasteland, and Breeder are talked about so little (or not at all) yet are some of the most original movies of the year.Beverly Hills Cop (1984), and Jaws (1975) are exceptions – except for holiday movies. Every year I watch Christmas Vacation, It's a Wonderful Life (1946), White Christmas (1954), The Santa Clause (1994), Home Alone (1990), A Christmas Story (1983), Christmas with the Kranks (2004), and all the other Christmas specials and shorts that pop up this time of year. I never get sick of them, and it's guaranteed I will watch them every year until I die. And I started thinking: are there any other movies I watch over and over again at the exact same time of year every single year, yet won't watch them at any other time? I watched It's a Wonderful Life in October for a podcast and it just felt wrong. I'm not popping in The Santa Clause in June to celebrate the beginning of summer. I do that with Jaws, but I'll also watch Jaws in February if I want and won't feel dirty about it.
So my questions for you, FTM family, are thus: 1. What are your Christmastime yearly watches? And 2. Are there other movies you watch every year at the same time every year?