I am a Hot Topic Millennial. I still identify as an emo kid. Fall Out Boy is still my favorite band and I was in love with Pete Wentz, with his Nightmare Before Christmas-inspired sleeve and all for most of my teenage years. I know Blink 182’s “I Miss You” by heart and I do not like The Nightmare Before Christmas. I would almost go as far as saying I hate the movie.
Millennials. Emo kids. Pop punk bands and pop punk music. Anyone that shopped at Hot Topic in the early 00s. It’s a very generalized statement to make, but it seems like the one thing all those groups had in common was The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack and Sally on shirts and hoodies. Jack Skellington tattoos and lyrics like, “We can live like Jack and Sally if we want to,” The Nightmare Before Christmas was everywhere I looked when I was in high school (and really still is), but I can’t stand it.
This is nearly a 30-year-old movie so I shouldn’t need to do this, but just to be safe, spoilers ahead…
The movie bothers me and makes me really uncomfortable. And as a grown-ass adult, this shouldn’t bug me, but my issue has always been that Jack kidnaps Santa and ruins Christmas.
Why that made me dislike the movie I’m not sure. Me, as the adult I am now, I can understand why. I love Christmas now. Christmas is my favorite time of year. To me, Christmas is magic and special. I love the food and spending time with friends and family. I love the lights and the cheesy Hallmark movies. (Not a fan of Christmas music, but you can’t win them all.)
Teenage me on the other hand, when it seemed like my entire circle of friends and every bit of entertainment I consumed was engulfed by all things the Pumpkin King, I hated Christmas. Christmas made me sad and miserable. I thought it was fake and one giant disappointment. I was the perfect candidate for loving a movie whose entire premise was built on turning Christmas dark and spooky. I should have been happy Jack kidnapped Santa and ruined Christmas, but I wasn’t. The movie, even back then, didn’t sit right with me.
Fast forward back to the present day and earlier this month, I was talking to my husband about how much I don’t like the movie. He, as a millennial that consumed basically the same entertainment as me and had a very similar circle of friends, fits the mold and loves The Nightmare Before Christmas, as we’re supposed to.
Despite the fact, we’ve been together for 12 years and he’s always loved the movie and I’ve always hated it, we’ve talked about why. When I shared my upset towards the treatment of Santa, he responded with, “But he fixes it in the end.” And at that moment I realized I didn’t remember how the movie actually ended.
I’ve seen it, many times. I’ve seen the ending for sure, but I couldn’t remember what happens. So I agreed to watch it again. So earlier this month, as we kicked off Spooky Season, I sat down with my husband to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas once again, with an open mind and hopes of finding the love my peers have for it.
And I am here to proudly announce…nothing changed. I still hate the movie.