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Christmas Horror Films


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Thread says it all.


A Christmas Horror Story - I watched this on netflix the other night, and I was actually surprised. It wasn't amazing but it was enjoyable to watch. Possibly going into it with low expectations could attribute some to that. It's somewhat of a creep show/Trick r treat like anthology tale. Much like trick r treat many of the stories have some connection. The main connection being William Shatner; who plays a raido DJ that is trying to get his listeners through the holidays. His segments seem nonsensical till the end of the story.


There are 3 tales and the film jumps between each story. I would have rather had them finish each story before going on to the next, but one of the stories requires this type of story telling for the optimal effect. One story has the focus on an asshole family going to a rich aunt to ask for money. The asshole son smashes a statue of Krampus, this leads to the events to follow of them being hunted by the demon. The other story is of Santa in the North Pole. One of his elves gets sick and dies. However elves apperently can't die. This leads to the other elves getting infected as well and becoming zombies. The rest of the story is Santa killing his helpers which has a great end. The third story has some creepy moments and only ties some with the final story, all in all the connection it has with the other story felt unnecessary. 


A cop who is taking time off from the force due to stress of a case he worked on last year, and his family go looking for a christmas tree. They find a tree on land that is marked no trespassing. Their child gets lost, but is soon found in a hollowed out tree. However the kid is different in an eerie way. The is more confirmed when you see a refection of the child that is not his own. There is some sort of fallout between the mother and the father over the kid being an asshole. At one point the kid outright stabs his dad with a fork, the dad gets mad and goes to beat the kid, but the mother flips shit over it. Later the kid destroys the presents under the tree and smiles like a dick about it. The dad actually beats the kids ass for that with a belt. The mother flips shit once again but says the father is fucked up in the head. From there the story starts to pick up but it's about over by that point. 


The final story which I felt was somewhat of a throw away or filler story; is about three kids that are working on a project. It's about two kids that were killed in another school that time of year. The video they watch has the cop from the aforementioned story doing a walkthrough of the case. The kids sneak into the basement area of the school where the murder happened and are locked in. To follow is some eerie grudge type stuff, and some good jump scares that actually got me a few times.   


I would give this a 3.5/5, really it's worth a watch if you have netflix



Krampus - Made by the team behind Trick r Treat. I found this film to be not as good as I had expected. It is almost the reverse of my experience of A Christmas Horror Story. Not that this film is bad, in fact I think it is better than the other film. However I had fairly high expectations of it, that it seems couldn't be met. The movie has a few flaws, the cast, pacing, and some segments. The issue with the cast is that they are not only unlikable, but they are forgettable. The only characters that I can really remember are the Grandma who barely spoke, the Aunt that spouted one liners, and the main kid. All I remember about the parents on both sides is that one is that one side is well off with upper middle class problems, and the other is what you expect of a sterotype trump supporter that thinks they are better off than the rich upper middle class inlaws.


The pacing has some issues, with some scenes taking much longer than they should. The one that I actually hated involved the gingerbread men. It felt too out of place for the film. Also it was probably the longest running scene in the film. I think it was trying to act like Gremlins, but it was like watching the Minions attack people.


The story as a whole was alright, the lore of krampus and how he works is probably one of the more interesting parts of the film. I would say this is a 3.9/5


Gremlins - Probably the first black comedy christmas film. Still it's more like a film that just takes place at christmas than a christmas film. I think it tries to shoehorn in some christmas lessons from time to time, but really it's just about the Gremlins causing chaos. In short a dad gets some mystical living animal from a chinaman. The rules are sunlight kills it so don't do that, Don't get it wet, and don't feed it after midnight. What do you know all of those things happen in one way or another and shit goes down.  I loved the puppet work of this as a kid, everything moves like it's a real living thing. 4.5/5


Santa's Slay - Another black comedy, the only reason I even gave this a shot was due to Goldberg staring in it. The best thing this has going for it is the history of Santa. The story goes that like Jesus, Santa was born of an immaculate conception. However rather than god being the father, his father was Satan. Satan...Santa I see what you did there movie. Santa in this case is an asshole. He is pretty much like the robot Santa from futurama in the past.  An Angel appears and makes a bet with Santa. If Santa wins he will get the Angel's soul, if the Angel wins then Christmas must become a positive happy holiday for 1000 years. It just so happens that he lost and the 1000 years are now up.


Really that's about it to the movie other than Santa killing some people. I give it a 2.8 out of 5



Silent Night Bloody Night - This is a whodunit slasher type of film. The issues of the film are more a product of most 70s films. The tone is very much a night of the living dead meets Don't look in the Basement. A house of people who don't trust each other and are quick to blame everyone else for the killings. The film has a good amount of tension moments, but this also leads to a lot of dead air where nothing happens. The film even has a damn narrator to move the plot along. 2/5



Jack Frost - It's pretty much childsplay with a snowman instead of a doll, done on a shoestring budget.  A serial killer (not chucky) is melted by a chemical. His body dissolves into the snow. His DNA then fuses with the snow, and is promptly built into a snowman by the sheriff's son. The killer snowman now kills people, and the people of the town think it's the kid and not the snowman like he says. The puppet work for the snowman is pretty cheesy, and the deaths are more comical than in childsplay. Also loads of puns are used, it's clear that they tired to copy the personality of chucky, but without any of the tone or charm. This film as a sequel, but it's not as good as the first one which isn't saying much. 3.1/5


Black Christmas - I am going to talk about the 74 version as I liked it better than the 06 version. The 06 version tries to go for more of a gritty tone like the remake of Texas Chainsaw. The 74 version just feels like a more well put together piece, without trying to be something else. In the film you never get to see who the killer is, you get some stories of the killer being an escaped psycho, but you never get to see him. It's also very well filmed. I like that it goes for a mix of somber music for violent death scenes. Pretty much it's about a family and friends being killed by this Psycho.  The acting is actually really good for the 70s.  I really like this film and give it a 5/5. They have it on youtube to watch which is a plus.

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The three main ones were all released the same year. I would only say one of them was shameless in trying to cash in on unsuspecting people. There is Krampus and A Christmas Horror Story; which are both good. Christmas Horror Story seems more genuine, as Krampus is just one of the stories it has, and it does it's own thing. The horrible one is Krampus The Reckoning. Whoever made that film needs to kill themselves. The CGI from the mortal kombat film looks better than the garbage it tries to present as a film. Also the camera work just looks awful, it's all shaky and grained. It's like they filmed it with an off brand go-pro. 

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I've seen Gremlins and Black Christmas, agree on both of those being good.


I was going to check out Krampus this month but didn't get around to it, still might I suppose.


The main thing that you should know before going into Krampus is that it's a real slow burn type of movie. Even at it's climax everything seems like it's playing out in slow motion. Most of the fault with that I think is due to a poor family dynamic. None of the main group really plays off of each other well. It felt more like they did a couple of takes, said close enough and moved on. It becomes something where you don't care about the characters, and are just interested in what inventive way they will die. I think the PG-13 rating hurt it more than helped, when compared to it's R rated counterpart Trick r' Treat.  However while I liked Trick r' Treat a lot of people did not, so I guess it can be up to preference.  Still it makes me wonder if the film was always meant to aim for a 13 rating, or if they cut some things to make it 13 and broaden the audience.



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