Friday, October 23, 2015

A Christmas Horror Story

(2015) ***1/2

Four interlocking Christmas horror stories narrated by increasingly drunk DJ William Shatner tell the tales of Bailey Downs, an idyllic town that experienced a terrible tragedy a year prior when two teenagers were found murdered in the basement of the local high school. The unresolved murders were believed to be the work of a convent.

In the present, spunky teen, Molly, convinces 3 classmates to break into the high school to film their own investigation of the murders for a homework assignment. Sarcastic friend, Caprice, is forced to back out at the last minute due to a family obligation to visit a creepy rich aunt 4 hours away in a remote location. Meanwhile, a cop who previously investigated the murders takes his wife and young son deep into a forest past a “No Trespassing” sign to find the perfect Christmas tree. While all of these events are transpiring Santa is busy at the North Pole preparing for Christmas when one of the elves begins to act strange.

Soon Molly and her friends find themselves locked in the basement of the school while experiencing strange phenomena. Caprice’s visit to her aunt ends badly when her bratty younger brother intentionally breaks a figurine of Krampus and unwittingly brings about the demon’s wrath. After briefly losing and finding their son in the forest, the cop and his wife bring him back home but begin to notice that their son is acting strangely. Santa has more than his share of trouble as his elves begin turning into zombies. All the while William Shatner imbibes on spiked eggnog having a jolly good time on the radio.

Now this is more like it! I previously complained that ‘Tales of Halloween’ had the right look but was varying in quality with its generally humorous tales. ‘A Christmas Horror Story’ is the perfect bookend to Trick ‘r Treat with its four tales of the macabre. Two of the tales are generally creepy and the other two are just plain fun. If I had one complaint it is that the stories are not told separately but instead the narratives are inter-cut with one another which saps the suspense a bit. Just as Trick ‘r Treat and ‘Tales of Halloween’ perfectly captures the essence of Halloween, ‘A Christmas Horror Story’ portrays Christmas with all the holiday fixings from candy canes to glittering lights, Christmas trees, presents and Santa. And death. This one was fun!


Trevor said...

I was getting close to renting this one too. Not sure I'll have time with October rapidly drawing to a close, but good to know it's worth seeing. If we ever get a xmas 'thon going, maybe I can watch it for that.

Catfreeek said...

I need to see this immediately!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

The images look pretty cool. I’m thinking of saving this one until December, that is if I’m not completely burnt out by then. I love the idea of zombie elves and drunken Kirk.

Wouldn’t the students get in trouble for breaking into the school once they handed in their assignment?

Abduscias said...

I'd watch it just for the drunk Shatner! :)

Octopunk said...

Yeah all of that sounds freaking great! I feel the same way Cat does, except I probably won't get around to it. Progressively drunk Shatner? Holy shit!

There's that Krampus movie coming out, too. Do I sense Christmas horror double feature thon!?!

AC said...

Oh yay, a good one! As we get toward the end a little quality can be an important morale boost.

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