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  • Writer's pictureRob Freese

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 20

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 20

What can be better than a creepy Christmas horror story? How about four creepy Christmas stories. Christmas loans itself to so many horror tales, most morality tales about characters grappling with being either naughty or nice, the anthology format is a perfect way to celebrate the season.

Warning: Spoiler Alert! This is a film that offers many, many surprises, and I would hate to spoil any before you have seen it. But, anthology films tend to benefit from word of mouth without spoiling a lot of the surprises. Except for the twist ending. I don't spoil the twist ending. You shouldn't either.

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar December 20- A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

It's Christmas Eve. Welcome to the quiet town of Bailey Downs, a sleepy little burg about to go to Hell in a Christmas basket.

Radio DJ Dangerous Dan (William Shatner) is spreading Christmas joy through the airwaves between spiked pulls of eggnog.

The lives of various people spool out before us, as four distinct tales of Christmas horror unravel simultaneously. The stories include an asshole family trying to fleece a wealthy aunt, kids making a video about a year old Christmas murder at their school, a holiday changeling and Santa battling rabid, foul-mouthed zombie elves.

Flick succeeds in building holiday horror cheer and engaging viewers as the focus stitches in and out of all the stories, each one building to their climax for one payoff after another until we return to Dangerous Dan in the wrap-around for one of the greatest wrap-up twists in anthology film history. (Seriously, I think this is the best wrap-around since the days of Amicus.)

It may take some viewers a few minutes to fall in line with the way the stories are being told, but once you are engaged you need to pay attention to keep up with everything. Put your damn phones down and look at your TV.

This is told in a similar fashion as Trick 'r Treat (2007), and your first viewing, as well as your second, will be the best experiences with this film. Watching and seeing how all these characters in the different stories are tied together is fascinating and you can still pick up things on multiple viewings. But like most anthologies, it suffers from that familiarity. Some stories are going to be more enjoyable than others, and A Christmas Horror Story is no exception.

The story concerning Santa and the zombie elves is by far the finest of the group. It's fast moving, gory, funny and it offers one payoff after another. The other stories all have their high points. My most recent viewing I found myself fidgeting in my La-Z-Boy during the changeling and bickering asshole family stories. (I suspect the Santa story is by far the favorite in this collection.)

Fast, furious and fun as hell, if you're looking for something you haven't seen before and what some horrors and chuckles, give A Christmas Horror Story a watch.

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