I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the fifteenth night, I am listing the 2007 Horror Thriller Wind Chill.
Wind Chill (2007)
Dir- Gregory Jacobs
Most winter horror movies outside of Christmas horror often involve people having to fight the elements for survival. Gregory Jacobs 2007 thriller Wind Chill is such a movie with a cast that includes Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes. A young woman seeks a ride home during winter break and decides to ride with a classmate she does not know. Along the way his behavior makes her feel uncomfortable as he seems to know much more about her than she has told him. Things take a darker turn when he takes a shortcut that strands them in the middle of nowhere outside of cell coverage and any means of help. As a winter storm makes it colder, the two begin to see apparitions that make them question their sanity along with their safety. Wind Chill is an isolation horror film with a supernatural element. The cast of the film and setting work well in showing the genuine fear of being stranded without the hope of rescue. The film's supernatural twist does add to the fear but in many ways, seems unnecessary as the movie already works as a thriller. While not a pure Christmas horror movie, Wind Chill is a decent winter horror tale that will make us all think about packing extra supplies on a long road trip.
I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the fourteenth night, I am listing the 2015 Horror movie Krampus: The Reckoning.
Krampus: The Reckoning (2015)
Dir- Robert Conway
An orphan named Zoe draws the attention of a caseworker after her foster parents are found burned to death. She does not enjoy the company of other kids and has a creepy doll that shes is very protective of named Krampus. She is put under the care of a child psychologist named Rachel, who Zoe tells about Krampus and how she has him punish people who are mean to her. As Rachel learns more about Zoes past, she finds out some shocking details that seem too familiar to her. This low budget Krampus movie at times feels more like a supernatural horror movie such as Case 39 with Krampus thrown in to make it a Christmas movie. The story itself is not too bad and makes for a better Krampus movie than the other knockoff films. The creature is pretty terrifying on the poster but looks amateurish due to the shoddy CGI effects. It's a shame that this movie is included in a collection of bad movies because there is a decent movie in here outside of the Krampus storyline. Director Robert Conway also directed Krampus Unleashed and Krampus Origins.
I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the thirteenth night, I am listing the 2010 Dutch Horror movie, Saint.
Dir- Dick Maas
In the 15th Century, on December the 5th, a less than friendly St Nicholas led a raiding party on a small village in modern-day Amsterdam and demanded tribute. The town fought back and defeated him, but he placed a curse on the town. St Nick would return every December the 5th on a full moon and exact his revenge, and one such incident left a young boy orphaned after St Nick and his minions murdered his family. Forty years later, that boy now worries that St Nicks's return will spell the doom for Amsterdam as the town prepares for St Nicholas Day. The only ally he finds is a young college student who was caught during an attack and hopes to fight back after he is accused of the bloody crimes. Saint was a 2010 movie directed by Dutch director Dick Maas and starring Egbert Jan Weeber and Bert Luppes. The film is a dark comedy with excellent special effects and a story that as absurd as it sounds works with the creative directing style of Maas. As with his previous film, Amsterdamned director, Maas makes excellent use of Amsterdam's canals and architecture to create a horror movie that certainly is better than most other Killer Santa films. Saint did face some controversy over the portrayal of St Nick as an evil villain, and American audiences might be put off by the custom of Black Pete.
I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for twelfth night, I am listing the 2016 Horror movie Krampus Unleashed.
Krampus Unleashed (2016)
Dir- Robert Conway
A group of treasure hunters looking for buried gold accidentally unleash the Christmas demon Krampus who makes short work of them. Decades later, a family gathering in a desert community faces the wrath of Krampus after he is unleashed again when a young boy finds an idol. In a break from the usual Christmas horror movies, Krampus Unleashed stands out as the only movie set in Arizona. The unique setting does seem a little out of place. Still, the rest of the film is your standard monster movie with the family fighting an unstoppable beast that can only be defeated by the convenient encounter of a local expert. Krampus Unleashed was produced, written and directed by Robert Conway, who also made Krampus: The Reckoning a year prior. The creature's design of the Krampus is worth noting as well as the gore effects. The cast was adequate with actress Amelia Brantley standing out as divorcee neighbor Bonnie Tyler. As one of many movies with the name Krampus this version is not as poorly made as other films but is nowhere near as great as the 2015 Michael Dougherty classic.
I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the eleventh night, I am listing the 2017 Horror movie, Lake Alice
Lake Alice (2017)
Dir- Ben Milliken
Winter settings are often an excellent backdrop for a horror movie, especially if the events take place in a remote or isolated environment. The Thomas family travels to their lake house to celebrate the Christmas holidays and face a mixed reception from the locals who either welcome them or react to them with some scorn. Thomas's daughter Sarah has brought her boyfriend, and their surprise announcement is shattered when someone attacks them in their home and stalks the family as they fight to survive during a winter storm and unfriendly neighbors. Lake Alice, directed by Ben Milliken, is a 2017 home invasion movie that stars Eileen Dietz and Caroline Tudor. The film has a beautiful setting and decent cast but suffers from a slow burn setup that spends too much time setting up the family's dynamic and tensions with the town folk. When the events do occur, they are rushed and lead to a predictable outcome that will not surprise most horror fans. Lake Alice is not as bad as most other Christmas horror movies that I am watching this year, but it does not stand out too much either.
I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for tenth night, I am listing the 2013 Horror movie Krampus: The Christmas Devil.
Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
Dir- Jason Hull
In recent years there has been a flood of Christmas horror movies featuring Krampus as the villain. The 2013 horror movie Krampus: The Christmas Devil was written and directed by Jason Hull and featured Bill Oberst, Jr in a small role. As a child, Jeremy was captured by Krampus and held as a prisoner for being a naughty child; he would escape and become a policeman as an adult. When children begin to disappear, Officer Jeremy suspects that Krampus may be behind it and sets out to stop it before more children disappear and die. This low budget movie offers nothing of note, but it does feature a story that focuses on the legend of Krampus and his relationship with Santa Claus. Character Villian actor Bill Oberst, Jr plays creepy psycho, but his role is small and could have made the movie better if he had been the focus of the story. Krampus: The Christmas Devil is one of the first movies to feature this holiday demon and predated the bigger Krampus movie of 2015 starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette but will only find an audience by people who watch thinking its the more famous film.
I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the ninth
night, I am listing the 1989 French Thriller Deadly Games.
Deadly Games (1989)
Dir- René Manzor
Home invasion movies are often an excellent subject for horror as it is something we all can relate to and find quite scary. "Deadly Games" is a 1989 French horror thriller directed by René Manzor and released in France as 3615 code Père Noël. In the film, a young boy named Thomas is left at home with his ailing grandfather and a pair of servants as his widowed mother takes care of a holiday party. During the event, a man hired to play Santa Claus is fired for hitting a child, and he decides to get back at Thomas's mother by breaking into their house. Yet he is unaware that Thomas is a gifted child, and the house has a high tech set of cameras that he uses to set up traps and evade what he thinks is an angry Santa Claus. In many ways, this film is quite similar to the 1990 holiday film Home Alone, yet Deadly Games lacks the humor and slapstick use of household objects to fight back. The young star Alain Lalanne shows a genuine knack for technology and a love for action movies that show Thomas as a kid who you would not want to face off against in any situation. The evil Santa played by Patrick Floershim is menacing and scary enough to make any kid want to avoid Santa. The movie was not generally available in the United States outside of poorly made bootleg copies but is now available with a refurbished print on streaming services and home video.