2015, Movies

A Christmas Horror Story (2015, Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, Brett Sullivan)

This should really be called Christmas Horror Stories as it’s sort of an omnibus film, featuring four different stories, which take place in the same town but not in the same universe. That sounds confusing, doesn’t, it?


This is a pretty low budget horror film but with a relatively strong cast for one of these things and a lot of ambition. One might say too much ambition but I’m not sure if the format comes from too much ambition or the realization that none of the for different stories could be turned into a standalone feature film. Who knows?

So what the hell is going on here? We know we’re in this one town, because everyone in the town is listening to Shatner’s character’s radio show, the town has a name (even though it’s Toronto) and characters in each of the stories refer to or meet characters in at least some of the other stories. But I don’t think these stories occur in the same universe, which is where one of the film’s biggest problems comes in, and which is where the spoilers come in.

So there are four stories: three stories involve the supernatural, but only one of the stories involves the Krampus, i.e. a Christmas-related horror villain. The other two supernatural stories involve things which are not related to Christmas: child-impersonating ghouls/goblins and human sacrifices. It’s hard to know why specifically either of these stories was felt to be Christmas-centric. And given that the bad spirits are different in all three stories, it’s hard to understand how they are all happening in the same universe, even though they involve characters who know each other.

The fourth story appears to be supernatural but actually isn’t. This twist, which I have just spoiled for you, is the best part of the movie. But it makes no sense when combined with the other three stories, especially the one with the Krampus. Are we supposed to believe the Krampus isn’t real? So what was going on in that other story?

The film looks better than it should a lot of the time, except for when the CGI comes in, which predictably looks bad. But the movie’s DVD case made it sound like this was a horror comedy, and we didn’t do much laughing with the film (though definitely laughed at it more than once). It’s also one of those films where there are too many ideas. In this case there’s maybe only one good one, but that one idea is drowned by all the other lesser ideas.

This should have been an anthology of stories told by Shatner’s character, or it should have just focused on the best of the four stories. As it is, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

4/10 because it looks better than its budget and the actors are fine.

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