Saint (Sint) (2010)

, ()
Directed by:
Written by:
Starring: , ,

Sint (Saint) (2010)

(18) Running time: 84 minutes

Director: Dick Maas

Writer: Dick Maas

Starring: Huub Stapel, Egbert Jan Weeber, Caro Lenssen

Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic

Christmas and horror tend to go hand in hand, with films like Jack Frost and Silent Night, Deadly Night using the holiday season to conjure up ideas for slaughter. Dick Maas’ Sint does just that, although here the story is based on a real Dutch folklore which is turned on its head. In the Netherlands, the legend of Saint Nicholas is a little different from our own Santa Claus (himself based on this legend and conveniently put in place for Christmas). The Dutch legend goes that Sinterklaas went around on the 5th and 6th December with his servants and dropped presents down the chimneys of children’s homes. Sinterklaas would ride around on his horse, walking on the rooftops, long beard swaying in the wind, while his black servants would drop the presents down for him. Dutch immigrants went to America and carried on the tradition, creating Santa!

Director Dick Maas turns the story on its head by making Sinterklaas out to be a horrible man who terrorised villages and bullied and murdered the inhabitants. On one pillage, the villagers set fire to Sinterklaas’ ship and burn him alive, while the Moon is full, and this sets off a curse whereby every 5th and 6th of December when the Moon is full, Sint returns to go on a killing spree. Low and behold, the film centres on a brief history lesson, a brief attack as Sint returns for the first time, and then we move on to current time on the eve of December 5th, and the Moon is full!

You can pretty much guess where the film goes from here, however there is much less violence than I was expecting. The trailer certainly promised more that the final product, however Sint is good fun and has its heart in the right place. There is a police officer who comically aims his gun at the ringing phone on his desk, nervous because he is aware that Sinterklaas could return, although no one believes him. He is told to go on leave as he appears very stressed, and he provides many of the films comedic moments. Then there is the young lad who seems to have some hidden talent allowing him to fight off Sinterklaas and his followers, providing one of the films highlights as he takes on a number of zombies while in his car. With his friends killed, this leaves him as a suspect and case of mistaken identity follows as the poor lad is hunted and questioned by the police. Also on his tale is Sinterklaas himself.

This horror comedy works well where it needs to, and is an easy watch that doesn’t provide anything new but plays nicely by the rules. The acting is a bit dodgy in places, and a lack of any facial expression due to Sinterklaas’ makeup doesn’t really make him all that scary. The pacing can be a little off putting, and the subtitles tend to move along a little too quick at times so can be a little difficult to keep up. That said, Sint is a fairly easy watch, it provides action, some gore, some comedy and plays on a Folklore more suited to the home nation than to outsiders, but there is still plenty to enjoy here. In its home land, the film did conjure out a massive amount of controversy due to not only the content, but the posters showing their beloved Sinterklass with a demonic face, something which got parents up in arms as they feared it would scare their children.

Go into Sint with an open mind, don’t look for anything more than an average horror with some nice touches here and there. It is far from great, but it is not a bad film either.

Rating: ★★★★½☆☆☆☆☆


Avatar photo
About Matt Wavish 598 Articles
A keen enthusiast and collector of all horror and extreme films. I can be picky as i like quality in my horror. This doesn't necessarily mean it has to be a classic, but as long as it has something to impress me then i'm a fan. I watch films by the rule that if it doesn't bring out some kind of emotive response then it aint worth watching.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.