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:

“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

“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

” … 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

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Buy: Amazon.com

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

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