Film Review: A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY (2015)

A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY *** Canada 2015 Dir: Brett Sullivan, Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban. 100 mins

anthon atmospheric horror anthology that borrows the interwoven-episodic approach of TRICK R TREAT and strives for a creepy / comic rendering of the festive season akin to the classic TALES FROM THE CRYPT episode “And All Through The House”. Increasingly inebriated radio talk show host William Shatner presents a Christmas Eve anecdote-fest that dovetails with a succession of stories unfolding in his town.

These involve students hoping to videotape spooky events at an infamous local murder site; a Griswald-esque family menaced by the legendary “Krampus” and a small boy metamorphosing into a “Changeling” after the traditional family Christmas tree hunt. Well produced and nicely shot, this is satisfyingly cynical about Yuletide and offers some sharp, funny dialogue (“It’s like Paul Bunyan and Count Dracula gayed up and bought their dream home!”) but sadly bungles its portrayal of the potentially terrifying Krampus and relies too much on irritating zombie elves for comic-splatter relief. At its best it’s creepy and dark hearted; at its worst, someone says “Merry Christmas, motherfucker” to the aforementioned Krampus.

Review by Steven West

 

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