A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
Written By: AC
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Directors: Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan
Producers: David Hayter & Billy Watson
Writers: James Kee, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor & Pascal Trottier
Date Released: October 2, 2015
William Shatner as Dangerous Dan
George Buza as Santa
Zoe De Grand Maison as Molly
Amy Forsyth as Caprice Bauer
Adrian Holmes as Scott
Rating = 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
A Christmas Horror Story is an odd little Christmas anthology narrated by William Shatner. Shatner plays Dangerous Dan, a radio host in the small town of Bailey Downs, where disturbing events befall the town residents on Christmas Eve. Molly and her friends sneak into the school to investigate the site of a grisly murder. The Bauer family travels to visit a distant relative in the hopes of snagging some of her fortune. A traumatized police officer named Scott and his family venture onto private property in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Finally, in the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus are dealing with an outbreak of killer elves.
There’s a decent amount of blood, especially in the Santa story. I thought the gore makeup was done much more effectively than the CGI effects. Tonally, I found the whole thing to be a little too dark for a Christmas movie, especially the ending. It’s not something that I would watch with kids and definitely doesn’t leave you with a pleasant feeling. There’s also a really long and unnecessary sex scene that felt gross and exploitative.
The Grave Review
The cover art for this movie features Santa and Krampus battling it out and is truly ugly. In fact, it’s the reason I didn’t watch this sooner. Also, the title combined with the image leads you to believe that the whole movie is about Krampus, which I was not excited for. But Krampus is only a piece of the story of Christmas in Bailey Downs. Instead of separating each story as I was expecting, the tales are interwoven; the characters tangentially connected. This way of story telling made the film more seamless than it should be considering there are 3 directors and 4 writers. But since the movie keeps cutting away to switch scenes, things don’t really get exciting until the latter half of the movie. It was an enjoyable watch, but I didn’t find any parts scary. The special effects were pretty bad and the film relied on them heavily for the climax scenes, which was a mistake.
The acting was pretty rough all around, leading me suspect a chaotic and rushed shoot. Amy Forsyth was shockingly bad considering how great she was in Channel Zero: The No End House (in which she starred). My guess is she wasn’t given a ton of motivation for her character, who is just a bratty teen who steals things.
If it were done a bite more tongue-in-cheek, it might have gone down a little smoother. The only person who seemed to fully embrace the campy nature of A Christmas Horror Story is Shatner, who is great as the narrator. This is a fun movie to watch at a holiday gathering with friends but not something I’d pay to see in the theater with Grandma.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives A Christmas Horror Story (2015) three graves out of five graves.
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