I hate being tricked by a movie, I really do. Today's film is an example of a movie promising me oh so much and giving me a giant, steaming pile of coal. Mind you, the Christmas Slasher Film is not exactly the highest caliber of genre out there. Even so, this one is an extreme let-down when compared to other films in the genre. At the very least, you expect some good Santa killer action. In that regard, it is a bore. The story has some interesting points to it, but good luck lasting long enough to see them. Your opinion may be different, but that's why it's not your site. This is...
The movie begins with a young man (Harry) stumbling upon a strange sight- his mother having sex with Santa Claus. He's smart enough to figure out that it is really his dad, which saddens him. I do have to ask why the dad was dressed like that, since he clearly did not plan on his kid seeing him. Did he just do it to be kinky with the wife or is this just lazy screenwriting? The movie then jumps ahead about forty years to cover a middle-aged Harry. You know, if you don't want to be confused with a slasher film, maybe you should not steal plot devices from Pieces. The man works a pretty thankless job in a factory and is in love with Christmas. You might be wondering why after his traumatic experience. That's a good question. His obsession goes to the point that he makes his own Naughty and Nice Lists. His cheery and care-free attitude makes him the joke of everyone at work. So far, this movie has some promise- let's see how long that lasts.
The straw that breaks the camel's back comes when Harry agrees to work on Christmas Eve as a favor for one of the men. He's higher up on the pecking order than him, but agrees all the same. That night, he sees the man at a bar and hears him brag about tricking the idiot. Ruh roh- this means war! This inspires Harry to...dress up like Santa Claus and wander around town. Yeah, that will show him....something. He ends up at a Christmas party and does nothing of interest. He hangs around people and gives presents to kids. Eventually, he ends up breaking into the man's house and starts cutting his throat, but loses his nerve when the wife in bed wakes up. Later that night, there is a line-up made for the woman, which features numerous men in the Santa get-up. I guess that it's supposed to be funny, but I sure as hell don't get it. As he is walking down the street, Harry is besieged by a group of happy people. They don't really do anything to offend or insult him that much, which makes the next part really odd. All of a sudden, he pulls out his axe and randomly kills two people. This happens in the blink of an eye and he flees in his van just as quickly. Was that the murder equivalent of a 'Big-Lipped Alligator Moment?'
Unfortunately, the movie is not done yet. Harry finds brief solace in an alleyway where he meets a child. The kid hides him from his parents due to Harry's outfit, but he flees when a mob shows up. I guess that was supposed to be ironic, huh? Throughout the film, they have given us brief snippets of Harry's brother, who is a nice, normal man with a family. Fleeing the mob, Harry shows up at his brother's house, which is about as awkward as it sounds. He has to decide whether or not to turn him in or let him go. This all ends with Harry riding off in his van- which has a sled painted on it- and driving off of a bridge. However, it appears to be flying....for some reason. The End?
I may bet some backlash for this, but I did not like this movie. I was expecting a slasher film, but I can deal with this if the movie is still good. I don't mind comedies that turn dramatic (i.e. The Invention of Lying, Ghost Town) if the writing is still good. I could point out that this movie draws some strong parallels between itself and Silent Night, Deadly Night. In that regard, it utterly disappoints in most regards. I will say my piece about Night soon enough, but I will say that it knows what it wants to be. This film is trying to be serious, ironic and bizarre at the same time. Pick one and stick with it! Every reviewer I have seen- I do check- says that I need to see the movie twice to really appreciate it. No offense, but I really don't want to. Why does subjecting myself to something so much until my defenses wear down sound like a good idea? This is not the worst Christmas film that I am going to cover this week- by far- but it is just the most inconsistent.
*Up next, a pair of horrible films that make you want to avoid video stores like the plague. One of them is by the director of Satan's Cannibal Holocaust, which should tell you something. Stay tuned...