12 DEATHS OF CHRISTMAS (a.k.a. Mother Krampus) *** U.K. 2017 Dir: James Klass. 90 mins
Another Christmas horror enters the fold and with it a few surprising twists and turns can be expected. Opening with a narration of the eastern European story of Frau Perchta we are told that in the 12 days leading up to Christmas in 1921 several children disappeared. One girl was later found but unable to speak of her torment she later died. In 1992, 5 children disappeared in the lead up to Christmas and later found in the woods with their throats slit. The towns folk angry that someone has taken their children from them, take a woman they believe to be the culprit of the killings and hang her. Before she dies she puts a curse on them all and vows that she will be back and have her revenge. 25 years later children start to disappear again and the people who persecuted the woman years ago, soon realise that what they thought had been long forgotten may well have returned to haunt them.
Made on a fairly low budget you can see that every penny was used wisely throughout. As far as Christmas horror movies go this isn’t the best but what it lacks in engaging characters and fun it makes up with some decent gore and a story you can follow easily. You do have to deal with family issues as you watch the film which does drag this Christmas terror down a bit but is necessary in the long run. The witch is a great character and is used wisely throughout not only by hiding in the shadows but when up close gives real character to her performance. She does seem to have spoken to Emperor Palpatine (STAR WARS) for makeup advice as thats what she reminded me of right down to the ominous robe. Stand out performances go to child actor Faye Goodwin playing Amy, and also to Claire-Maria Fox as her on screen mum Vanessa. Listen out for a take on the classic line from ALIENS “Get away from her you bitch!” but change that last word for witch. This will surely amuse some and have others rolling their eyes in disbelief at the absurdity. Worth checking out for an indie film with tension, atmosphere and Christmas spirit that shares its scares with delight.
Review by Peter ‘Witchfinder‘ Hopkins