A Christmas Horror Story (2015) reviews and overview

 

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A Christmas Horror Story is a 2015 American supernatural horror anthology feature film directed by Steven Hoban (Darknet), Grant Harvey and Brett Sullivan (Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed) from a screenplay written by James Kee, Sarah Larsen, Doug Taylor and Pascal Trottier (Hellions) for Copperheart Entertainment.

The movie stars William Shatner (IncubusThe Horror at 37,000 Feet; Kingdom of the Spiders) and George Buza.

Commenting to the London Metro, William Shatner has said: “I think A Christmas Horror Story will tickle your horror bone. It’s a making-a-face-and-coming-out-of-the-closet-and-scaring-you kind of story.”

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Image Entertainment distributed the film theatrically and on VOD in the US. An RLJ Entertainment Blu-ray and DVD release was released on November 24, 2015. Social media reported that US supermarket chain Wal-Mart had changed the name of the film to A Holiday Horror Story.

The film received a British DVD release via Entertainment One on 9th November 2015.

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

Plot:

Christmas: a time of Joy, Peace and Goodwill, unless you happen to live in the town of Bailey Downs. Here, on Christmas Eve, joy is corrupted when a malevolent spirit traps three teens in a school basement intent on recreating a twisted version of the Nativity story.

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Peace is shattered when a family returns from a snowy forest with the perfect Christmas tree only to find something is terrifyingly wrong with their seven-year-old son. And goodwill is perverted when a not-so-nice family is hunted down by Krampus, the demonic anti-Santa Claus of Nordic mythology. Even Santa Claus himself is drawn into the horror when he has to fight off a horde of howling Zombie Elves before making his rounds…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

” … some decent chills, like the first glimpse of the changeling’s true face in the mirror, and some nicely black Christmas morality as Krampus punishes the wicked … or goes one-on-one with an enraged, battle-scarred tough guy Santa just before a hilarious yet tragic reveal of what’s really up in town. The snowy setting and use of ironic Christmas music adds a little flavour to the eggnog – this really does do for Christmas what Trick ‘r’ Treat did for Hallowe’en.” The Kim Newman Web Site

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Buy: Amazon.co.uk

“The choice to alternate between stories instead of presenting them as separate chapters contributes significantly to the picture’s lively feel, and despite having a trio of directors telling stories in four different genres … the film never feels schizophrenic. Throw in an absolutely killer twist at the end, and this is a package many fright fans will want to unwrap every year.” The Hollywood Reporter

“Coming to conclusions for each story in a largely satisfactory manner and featuring an unforeseeable gut-punch ending, A Christmas Horror Story definitely sticks the landing—a feat that can be particularly difficult for horror anthology films—and tells bold, uncompromising holiday-themed tales along the way.” Daily Dead

“Like just about every anthology film ever made, A Christmas Horror Story is a mixed bag — of gifts and coal presumably — but as a whole it lands as a mediocre affair. See it for Shatner and the Santa vs zombie elves segment, but be sure to get a gift receipt.” Film School Rejects

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Buy: Amazon.com

“I wonder how much it costs these days to get Shatner to sit in a chair and babble complete nonsense for like 20 minutes. The movie is alright, but one thing that bugged me a little was the lack of a unified tone. There were three directors working on this and the stories in the anthology each feel like they belong in different movies.” Bloodcrypt

Cast and characters:

William Shatner … Dangerous Dan
George Buza … Santa
Rob Archer … Krampus
Zoé De Grand Maison … Molly (as Zoé De Grand’Maison)
Alex Ozerov … Ben
Shannon Kook … Dylan
Amy Forsyth … Caprice Bauer
Jeff Clarke … Taylor
Michelle Nolden … Diane
Adrian Holmes … Scott
Olunike Adeliyi … Kim (as Oluniké Adeliyi)
Orion John … Will
A.C. Peterson … Big Earl (as Alan C. Peterson)
Percy Hynes White … Duncan (as Percy Hynes-White)
Corinne Conley … Aunt Edda
Julian Richings … Gerhardt
Debra McCabe … Marta (as Debra Lynne McCabe)
Joe Silvaggio … Jingles / Troll Changeling
Damir Andrei … Principal Herod
Jessica Clement … Grace
Ken Hall … Shiny Elf
Korina Rothery … Sparkles Elf
Jonny Caines … Wire Elf (as Jonathan H. Caines)
Brad Bennett … Chomping Elf
Catherine Fan … Army Chop Elf (as Kathy Fan)
Dan Belley … Jumping Elf
Paige Moyles … Sobbing Teen
Glen Gaston … Middle Aged Man
Eric Woolfe … Foreman Elf

Technical details:

99 minutes
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Dolby Digital (5.1)

Related:

Ho! Ho! Horror! Festive Fright Films – article