Friday, December 25, 2015

Holiday Flix: A Christmas Horror Story

It's the most murderous time of the year!  Today's Review is A Christmas Horror Story, a 2015 Horror Anthology that is totally festive.  Oh and let me get this out of the way- Wal-Mart carries it in store as A Holiday Horror Story.  Do I care?  No.  Does it matter one bit?  No.  We over that whole thing now?  Great.  The Film tells the Story of 4 different events happening around Christmas in what is apparently the worst Town to live in since Haddonfield was finally abandoned.  The 4 Stories apparently take place concurrently, although no direct connection exists between them after they have started.  I appreciated the attempt to create a shared World...when they bothered.  Once they gave up on that, I was just stuck watching a Film that couldn't stop cross-cutting for no reason.  One Story involves Teens trapped with something in a School.  The second involves a kid going through some mysterious changes at home.  The third involves a dysfunctional Family being targeted by something powerful, while the final one involves Santa Claus & some Zombie Elves.  I won't SPOIL the results here, so don't tune out just yet.  To find out if this one will be a repeat viewing, read on...
In this Story, a traumatized Cop takes his Family to get a Tree.  Do they bring back something else though?
In another Story, a jerk-ass Family shows up to Grandma's House, but is kicked out after a statue of Krampus is damaged.  What is following them?
In the 3rd Story, an Elf working for Santa dies.  Elves can't stay dead, so...Zombies.  Why not?
In the final Story, some Teens check out their School after dark on the anniversary of a killing done there last year.  It is *so* close to Found Footage, but not quite.
What happened to their kid?  Will they both survive the revelation?
At the School, what secret is behind the earlier deaths and will it claim some more lives?
As for the terrible Family, will they survive the wrath of everyone's suddenly-favorite creature?

To find out the answer to all these questions (and about those Zombie Elves), you'll just have to watch the Film.  Ho Ho Ho.
Fun at times, but should be better.  On the surface, this is a pretty can't miss Film.  Four separate Tales of Horror in a small Town.  Ghosts in one story, a strange creature in another, Krampus in a third and freaking Zombie Elves in the final one.  What could go wrong?!?  Well, as I mentioned, the Editing and Pacing.  There is ZERO reason that this couldn't just be a normal Anthology.  Give me one tale, cut to Narrator/Framing Device and then cut to the next Tale.  The only reason to cross-cut and have them take place simultaneously is if there is any pay-off.  There is none.  It seems to have just been a purely artistic choice that didn't (at least for me) pay off.  As with any of these, you are going to like some Stories better.  So if you have to keep getting pulled away from said Stories for the other ones, you may be annoyed.  Much like a fancy toy without the batteries, the Film just isn't *quite* what it should be.  There are strong parts and then there are weak ones.  If this was more balanced and put together better, it might be a modern-day Cult Classic.  As it is, it is a flawed work that has glimmers of promise.  Oh well- at least they got Shatner.
Next up, let's tackle the post-Holiday blues with some Horror.  Can you face what is not natural?  Stay tuned... 

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