Writer: Jason Filiatrault, James Kee, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor, Pascal Trottier (Screenplay)
Starring: William Shatner, George Buza, Rob Archer, Zoe De Grand Maison, Alex Ozerov, Shannon Kook, Amy Forsyth
Plot: Interwoven stories that take place on Christmas Eve, as told by one festive radio host: A family brings home more than a Christmas tree, a student documentary becomes a living nightmare, a Christmas spirit terrorizes, Santa slays evil.
Tagline – You Better Watch Out
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Christmas Anthology 101
Story: A Christmas Horror Story starts when we see a family trying to rebuild a relationship with a distant relative, who has a secret of her own, three college students trying to unlock the secret of an abandon facility, while another family illegal cut down a Christmas Tree.
With the three stories taking place on Christmas Eve, Santa is dealing with his own problems in the North Pole after one of his elves unexpectedly dies, Santa must suit up to fight evil in an attempt to save Christmas.
Thoughts on A Christmas Horror Story
Characters – Dangerous Dan is the radio host that is telling the stories of last year, he treats each like a warning to anybody listening. Santa does have a unique look which sees him looking like an older man that has been doing the job for too long, he gets caught up needing to figure out what happened to his elves as they are dying and coming back like zombies. Krampus comes for a family in the woods after they are involved in trying to rebuild a relationship with a distant relative. Molly is one of the student filmmakers trying to make a documentary about an abandoned facility. We also have a family that are involved in stealing a tree, only they don’t come back the same way as they left.
Performances – One of the problems with this film comes from the performances not being given the best chance to succeed, this doesn’t mean anybody is bad, it is the way the film is shot, meaning we jump between the stories too much, instead of letting one short unfold, not giving us time to invest in the performers.
Story – The story does tell four different stories of horror going on at Christmas. Unlike most anthologies, this one jumps between the stories instead of giving us one at a time, this doesn’t help because one at time will give us enough time to invest in what is about a 20 minutes story, instead of giving us 2-3 minute snippets before moving back to another. If we were to break down the stories, there is one very fun and interesting one, with Santa fighting zombie elves, the one with the tree and the Krampus ones are both entertaining, while the documentary one falls slightly flat.
Fantasy/Horror – The fantasy elements in the film come from the different Christmas creations, including Krampus, Santa and the Changelings figures. The horror is hard to get invested in because the lack of time spent on each story.
Settings – The film uses the settings to give each film it own unique look, we can tell instantly from each set which story we are in too.
Special Effects – The effects in the film are blood filled which is all we want from a horror slasher styled film.
Final Thoughts – This is a basic Christmas horror anthology which does give plenty of blood, only to struggle to make us care about the bigger story because of the jump between two.
Overall: Simple anthology.