It’s Christmas! A time for giving & sharing, spending time with your loved ones & being generally merry. It’s a time to put your feet up…put some logs on the fire, pour yourself some eggnog & settle down for one of the more interesting & fun Christmas horror movies for quite a while.
A Christmas Horror Story is an anthology…4 stories tied together around a radio DJ working a long & late shift over Christmas (played by William Shatner). DJ Dan loves Christmas for its traditional religious values, something not shared by his producer & the local weatherman (Fuck Christmas).
The stories play out at the same time jumping between scenes of each. While this makes it feel like more of a complete movie it does ruin the pacing somewhat as just when you’re getting into one it will jump to one of the others.
The first story sees a group of kids break into their school over the holidays looking to investigate 2 murders that took place the year before. This one begins quite well & has quite a good creep factor that reminded me of the excellent Grave Encounters. Sadly, it loses its way devolving into silly jump scares, bad make-up & a disappointing end.
The second story is initially quite boring but becomes the best one of the bunch. A couple lose their son in the woods while getting a Christmas tree. When they find him he seems to be a little different…
This is brilliant, very creepy with some very well done moments. The ceiling bit sent chills down my neck. It doesn’t quite keep the momentum going to the end but it’s forgivable thanks to the scares that came before.
The third sees Santa Claus dealing with a zombie outbreak in the North Pole turning his elves in blood-thirsty animals. Gory & fun for the most part, this one’s highlight is the ending that ties into the overall DJ story. A shocking end that I never say coming & absolutely loved. It’s brilliantly done, reminiscence of classic Christmas horror movies like Silent Night, Bloody Night.
The fourth & last sees an unlikeable family visiting their rich Aunt to try & get some money from her. On their trip home they come under attack from the evil Christmas spirit, Krampus. It’s fun & Krampus looks great. It also ties into the Santa Claus story with the pair having a fun face-off at the end of the movie.
The movie takes a tongue in cheek approach that makes it so much more enjoyable. It combines good scares, plenty of gore & amusing moments that will raise a smile. The acting in some is way better than others, the kids involved in the documentary are so-so while the parents & kid in the ‘lost son’ one are excellent.
It won’t really matter though as the stories told & action included are more than enough of a distraction.
It’s the perfect Christmas movie for the whole family this year!
A Christmas Horror Story