Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sean Kelly

TADFF15: A Christmas Horror Story

This review was originally published as part of my coverage of Fantasia Fest 2015

Four tales of Yuletide terror are told in A Christmas Horror Story. In the town of Bailey Downs, Dangerous Dan (William Shatner) speaks on the radio, as the town prepares for Christmas Eve. Teenager Molly (Zoé De Grand Maison) and her friends explore a school, where a crucifix-style murder happened the year before, and encounter some supernatural activity.  Meanwhile, Molly's friend Caprice (Amy Forsyth) goes on a family outing and encounters the evil Christmas demon Krampus (Rob Archer). Elsewhere, police officer Scott and his family break into private property to cut down a Christmas Tree, which results in something strange happening to his son Will.  Finally, up at the North Pole, Santa Claus (George Buza) has to fight off zombie elves.

Christmas is traditionally meant to be a very jolly holiday and it isn't often when the season is associated with the horror genre.  In a similar vein to previous Christmas horror films, such as Black Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly NightA Christmas Horror Story is probably going to press some buttons for its dark and violent depiction of the holiday, with the story mostly likely to offend being the very religious-themed ghost story in the school.

Like many horror anthologies, A Christmas Horror Story is a little bit uneven, with some of the stories coming off better than others.  The best (and goriest) story of the bunch is Santa, played wonderfully by character actor George Buza, fighting off against undead elves. Other standouts in the film include the Krampus story and the framing device featuring William Shatner's Christmas Eve DJ. The film has a format similar to Michael Dougherty's Trick 'r Treat, in how the plot switches back and forth between the stories as the night progresses. Ultimately, A Christmas Horror Story is a fun tale of Yuletide terror.

8 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).