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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Movie Review: A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

Can elves die? In October 2015, I found out... yeah, they can, but they don't go down easy! 

Directing this 99 minute horror is Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban and Brett Sullivan. 

Some of the cast is: William Shatner as Dangerous Dan, George Buza as Santa, Rob Archer as Krampus, Zoe De Grand Maison as Molly Simon,  Alex Ozerov as Ben, Shannon Kook as Dylan, Jeff Clarke as Taylor Bauer, Michelle Nolden as Diane Bauer, Amy Forsyth as Caprice Bauer, Percy Hynes White as Duncan Bauer, Adrian Holmes as Scott, Olumike Adeliyi as Kim Peters, Orion John as Will and Ken Hall as Shiny Elf. 

Radio DJ, Dangerous Dan, is pulling a long shift during Christmas and is doing the best he can to bring the Christmas spirit to his listeners. Unfortunately, some of his listeners aren't having a very
good night. While Dan is filling up on eggnog and cheer a group of teenagers decide to break into their school to investigate a murder that happened there last year. A simple family outing to get a Christmas tree goes horribly wrong. Taylor takes his wife and kids to visit their aunt Edda but it's not the family bonding experience Taylor was hoping for, and it seems Santa is having a bit of trouble with the elves at his workshop. 

Now, lately there have been a lot of anthologies made, so what makes this one stand out among the rest? Like most anthologies, not every story was good, but between the playthrough and other stories it still turns out to be a strong enjoyable flick. The not so good stories weren't bad, mind you, just not great, but even those stories still have a good playthrough and the writers (Jason Filiatrault, James Kee, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor and Pascal Trottier ) did a great job tying them all together.
                                           

The playthrough is very entertaining. Right off the bat, Shatner caught my attention and the film held it the entire time. I wound up looking forward to Shatner's DJ segments as the stories unfolded. Shatner starts out all happy and slowly descends into a (drunken) eggnog filled joy to be around, which was awesome to watch. I wasn't a fan of the first story but it doesn't drag the rest of the film down in any way. The last story was my favorite because it was so well written and you don't see it coming if you miss the quick hint they throw at you. 

The look of the film was good after they put together all the work by Raymond Mackintosh and Ben Borean (special effects) and  the visual effects by Dennis Temprile (Keyframe Digital Productions). The effects flowed well and there were only a few times that the effects didn't quite match up with the scene. There are some gory moments, especially during the Santa story. 

The cast was good, but Shatner killed it and was the best part of the flick. 

Side note: When this one was released it had a limited theatrical run and hit VOD (video on demand). 

Overall, if you're looking for a Christmas flick with... a "less warm hearted" theme then you'll want to catch this one. As for me, I just found another movie to add to my yearly watch list with Scrooged (1998), A Christmas Story (1983), A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) and Bad Santa (2003). Yeah, I know my Christmas watch list is kind of weird... don't judge. Merry Christmas, everybody!

It's rated NR (not rated) but has language and violence.

4 stars


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