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Review A Christmas Horror Story (2015): Close but no cigar / Undercover Anthology film done wrong!

genre: horror

Not a classic and no fun at all!

By now the idea of doing a horror themed Christmas movie is quite old. But still horror is the exact opposite of what you would expect in a Christmas film. For these to be effective you have to focus on these differences and enhance them. A Christmas Horror came close but failed.

First of all this film goes wrong right from the start where we get introduced to several characters that are only tied because they are from the same town. At one point it comes clear that each of these groups of characters are part of their own little story making A Christmas Horror Story an anthology film. Now in the right hands they could have done something truly brilliant with this. Instead it reeks of laziness and that the film makers could not be bothered with writing enough story to make one compelling story. The result is that you get these short little segments that never truly stand out because they are all lacking proper characterization and buildup of suspense. Certain events escalate very quickly and when they do you hardly care for anyone. Also because most of the characters act like buffoons most of the time. There is no logic to their behaviour at all. They rarely have real dialogues and they also don't act like real people would. Now I do think this is mostly due to the fact that they aren't given time to develop. Only the best of actors can show depth in a short time span. And let's face it none of the actors in this film have what it takes apart from William Shatner. Why would you have him in the film and not be part of it all? In the film he is cast as a radio DJ who increasingly gets more drunk as he keeps pouring himself eggnog and scotch. His part could have been easily left out and it would not have made a difference. And why did they let him play his role so reserved? We know that Shatner can say the craziest things. So let him. It would have been so much better had they let him say those things while the horrific events were playing out Mystery Science Theater 3000 style. Or how difficult is it to let him say things of why he loves Christmas so much and then fade into one of the standalone segments to show the opposite? It would have been very effective.

There were some moments that looked promising but then simply faded and making you regret that you got hopeful for a minute. The badass Santa fighting hordes of his own Elves turned into walking dead easily could have been the highlight and regretfully I have to report that it never reaches greatness that some bad B movies can accomplish. Although I do have to add that the twist in the end concerning Santa was an effective one. It is one of the reasons why it's hard to rate this film lower because it does redeems itself a tiny bit. But in the end you have to judge the film as a whole and truth of the matter is that none of it is actually fun. Most of the time the scenes were just tedious. None of the standalone segments are truly exciting or thrilling. And they lacked ambition and creativity. How can you go wrong with Santa fighting zombie elves? That should have been freaking hilarious. 

After careful consideration I think that A Christmas Horror film is waste of your time. As a whole it fails to deliver the one thing a bad B movie should have plenty of which is fun. Avoid!

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