A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY (2015) [Grimmfest 2015]

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Directed by Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban and Brett Sullivan

What do you get when you combine all things festive with a dose of scares? A Christmas Horror Story, of course!

A Christmas Horror Story is an anthology film that brings together four invididual stories happening in the town of Bailey Downs in the run up to Christmas. At the heart of the town is radio DJ Dangerous Dan (William Shatner), who seems to be becoming increasingly pissed as the night goes on as he plays his festive tunes on the radio. The time of year isn’t a particularly joyful one for the town, especially as a year previously two students at the local high school were found murdered. Deciding to document what could have potentially happened to the students, three of their schoolmates decide to record a documentary at the school on the anniversary of their death. What clues to the horrors that happened in the basement will the students find and could the killer return to wreak more bloodthirsty havoc this Christmas?

On the other side of town, a family are out in the woods looking to bag themselves a real Christmas tree. When the son goes missing, the parents panic but are soon reunited with their son… or are they?

Meanwhile, a family are on their way to visit their wealthy aunt in a country manor. The ungrateful family arrive at her door with next-to-no redeeming qualities as the son purposely breaks an ornament whilst the daughter steals from her and the father tries to coerce the aunt to part with her money. Such tainted souls must be punished this Christmas…

It seems like everybody is having Christmas woes as an infection spreads throughout Santa’s workshop with the elves becoming sick and contagious. If Santa is going to save Christmas, he’s going to have to tighten his boots and beat the virus and all those who’ve succumbed to it as well as face his powerful arch nemesis.

If you like your horror light with a sackful of laughs then A Christmas Horror Story might just be what you’re looking for. It’s got plenty of action amidst the horror and humour, with a firm focus on entertaining its viewers with the latter.

Whilst the film has some dark ideas, it never seems to fully take advantage of them resulting in mild scares with often cliched scenes horror fans have seen time and time again. The main story that provides the most thrills is that of Santa as we see him as we’ve never seen him before. Wielding his candy cane like a baseball bat or a crow bar, Santa goes to town on his undead elves in bloody awesome fashion! This particular episode blows the others out of the water, although the one focused on the young boy who goes missing only to be found again does have its odd moments of creepiness that will surely leave you unsettled as it progresses.

Binding all four stories together is the brilliant William Shatner who is without the doubt the star of the show. His witty drunken ramblings brought laughter to everyone in the audience of Grimmfest 2015 film festival as he sits in his chair, oblivious as to what’s occurring outside his cosy station.

Although it’s lacking terrifying horror, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with A Christmas Horror Story with one particular stand out episode that may just leave you speechless as it did I.

Rating: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆

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About Bat 4345 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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