The Spirit of Christmas (2015)

Ah, Christmas… It’s a magical time of year overflowing with romantic opportunities. Or at least that’s how it is in Lifetime original movies where the only gift the female lead needs to buy is for her love interest, friends and family be damned. These movies generally follow a plot of “woman sad, woman meet man, woman kiss man in snow,” but when a film breaks with that pattern, sometimes true magic happens. So let’s talk about a Lifetime movie where a lady wants to fuck a Christmas ghost!

Kate is a busy woman who may also be a sociopath. She has to appraise a sort of bed and breakfast inn that’s rumored to be haunted. But ghosts and witches aren’t real! Only it turns out ghosts are real and this building is haunted by Daniel, a Billy Zane look-a-like with an unfortunately alt-righty haircut (but it’s okay, he’s looked the same for the last 95 years and there are no minority cast members to see if he has outdated opinions). Daniel was murdered but has no idea who did it, and since he’s conventionally handsome Kate decides to help solve this mystery. But who could the murderer have been? Daniel’s brother, who married Daniel’s girlfriend shortly after his death? The girlfriend herself, mad that Daniel had become a bootlegger for money? The crime boss who didn’t like Daniel leaving? Or maybe it’s the sketchy as hell cousin who wasn’t floated as a potential suspect for no good reason. Oh, it turns out the cousin did it. The movie tells the audience that the curse is broken and Daniel is now physical once again, ruining the moment later where Kate finds this out after thinking he had gone towards the light. Anyway, love wins and Christmas is saved!

I really want to applaud the writer of this, because they took the premise “Christmas ghost boyfriend” and fleshed it out. Literally. Daniel’s ghost becomes tangible (but still with some ghost powers like teleporting, which is really him just disappearing since there are only 3 special effects in the whole film) in the 12 days leading up to Christmas. He apparently spends the rest of the year in some sort of void, and gets booted back there at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve. Or is it the stroke of midnight on Christmas Day? I legitimately have no idea which is more correct. But why did his curse manifest in such a specific way? Partly because he was away legging boots or whatever for 12 days, but mainly because the audience will go, “Oh hey, that’s a Christmas song I recognize!” I mean, ghosts aren’t real so you can make up whatever you want when writing a ghost story, but this was a level of ridiculous that was a treat to watch.

And yes, I actually do know what bootlegging was. Don’t @ me.


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