Sunday, December 15, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Wind Chill (2007)

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.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Krampus:The Reckoning (2015)

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.   

Friday, December 13, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Saint (2010)

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.

Saint (2010)
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.   

Thursday, December 12, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Krampus Unleashed (2016)

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.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Lake Alice (2017)

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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)

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.

Monday, December 9, 2019

24 Days of LosMan- Deadly Games (1989)

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. 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Holiday Hell (2019)

I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the eighth
night, I am listing the 2019 Horror Anthology Holiday Hell.

Holiday Hell (2019)

A Chrismas Eve trip to a curiosity shop is the setting of this holiday anthology starring Jeffrey Combs. A young woman looking for a unique gift is shown several items that all have their own unique and dark tale. The stories cover Valentine's Day, Hanukkah, and Christmas with each tale relating to the item that the young woman selects. As she tries to make a decision, the shopkeeper may have an eye on something she already possesses. Holiday Hell has a decent selection of short stories, all with dark twists that will not surprise fans of other horror anthologies. The stories are not too gory and are paced so that they don't drag on too long. That being said, the cast in each segment does a decent job with Mr. Combs standing out as the mysterious shopowner. Holiday Hell's four segments are directed by Jeremy Berg, David Burns, Jeff Ferrell, and Jeff Vigil. Holiday Hell works as a Halloween movie and a Chrismas movie that is certainly better than many other titles I am reviewing this month.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- A Christmas Slay (2015)

I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the seventh night, I am listing the 2015 Horror slasher Christmas Slay.

A Christmas Slay (2015)
Dir- Steve Davis
One family's Christmas Eve is shattered when a serial killer dressed as Santa breaks into their home and brutally murders them. A year later, a trio of young women takes a trip to the Scottish Highlands to celebrate Christmas and have a girls getaway. This trip is interrupted by the same manic who, after escaping captivity stalks and murders the group and others who are around. Christmas Slay is a 2015 British horror movie directed and written by Steve Davis. The cast of women includes Jessica Ann Bonner, Dani Thompson, Lyda Kay, and Evil Santa, played by Frank Jakeman. Christmas Slay offered nothing that has not already been done before in numerous slashers involving women in peril. The Santa dressed killer does make for a good villain as his intimidating size makes him almost unstoppable in a country were weapons are not commonplace. Overall the effort works better than most Christmas themed horror but could have easily been set in a deep woods cabin or sorority house.

Friday, December 6, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Sick For Toys (2018)

I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the sixth 
night, I am listing the 2018 Black Comedy Sick For Toys.

Sick For Toys (2018)
Dir- David Del Rio

After his best friend disappears, a young man named Roy encounters a woman named Emilia who claims to have met with him. He soon accepts a dinner date with her and finds himself in the middle of an awkward dinner with her and her overprotective brother Edward. When the subject of her Christmas toy comes up, Emilia shows a childlike glee, but Roy will learn that her joy hides a sinister intent. Sick For Toys is a psychological thriller directed by David Del Rio from a story written by James Andrew Oster and Justin Xavier. Camille Montgomery delivers top-notch performance in a role that balances Emilia's childlike innocence with her darker side. Jon Paul Burkhart also stands out as the creepy older brother who tries to protect Camille but also indulges in her sadistic behaviors. Sick For Toys is a genuinely twisted Christmas movie and reminded me of the family dysfunction seen in The House of Yes and We Are What We Are.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Mrs. Claus (2018)

Mrs. Claus (2018)
Dir- Troy Escamilla

After a hazing ritual goes overboard, a young pledge murders her tormentor and then herself. Ten years later, the younger sister of the murdered woman joins the same sorority hoping to find closure.  She soon discovers that the legacy of her deceased sister is still present, as party guests are being murdered by someone seeking revenge. In many respects, Mrs. Klaus is a throwback to 1980s campus slasher movies with lots of blood, a masked killer, and naked bodies. Due to the low budget of the movie, most of the action occurs in a few locations requiring minimal sets and a small cast. The film's bright spot is the casting of horror screen queens Brinke Stevens and Helene Udy in some supporting roles. Mrs. Claus offers nothing original or unique as a holiday horror movie, but seeing Ms. Stevens is always a plus.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- A Cadaver Christmas (2011)

I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the third 
night, I am listing the 2011 Horror Comedy A Cadaver Christmas.

A Cadaver Christmas (2011)
Dir- Joe Zerull
A lonely Christmas Eve in a dive bar is interrupted by a blood-splattered guy who casually walks in and asks to use the restroom. After ordering a beer, he confesses the crazy events of the night. He drags the two occupants along with a policeman to the local university where they face off against animated cadavers. Ok, let us make one thing clear as the title of this film states; this is not a zombie movie. It is a cadaver movie. The action is outlandish, with blood flying as they fight off the army of corpses in a gore-filled battle royale. The quality of the video is grainy and appears to be a deliberate attempt to make this movie look like a bad VHS print of a grindhouse movie. A Cadaver Christmas works well with a cast of unknown actors who play their roles effectively and make this movie an enjoyable bloodfest in a genre that has too many copycats.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Unholy Night (2018)

I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the third 
night, I am listing the 2018 Horror Anthology Unholy Night.

Unholy Night (2018)
Unholy Night is a low budget Canadian anthology horror movie with segments directed by Chris Chitaroni, Kristian Lariviere, and Randy Smith. The overnight shift in a hospital on Christmas Eve is the setting for a night duty nurse who listens to a series of scary tales from an older man named Mr. Iblis. The stories get creepier as the nurse begins to feel more uncomfortable with the direction they lead too. The tales include a young man meeting his girlfriend's family; Three women summon the ghost of a deceased girl after a night of drinking, and the nurse visits her mother only to face her cruel treatment that goes back to her childhood. Actress Jennifer Allanson's role as Nurse Lily is both charming and wicked. Jim McDonald's role as Mr. Iblis helps tie all the stories together in a film that works better than many of the more significant budget indie films released the same year.

Monday, December 2, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Slay Belles (2018)

I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the second 
night, I am listing the 2018 Horror Comedy Slay Belles.

Slay Belles (2018)
Dir- Dan Walker

Youtube Cosplay girls Alexi, Dahlia, and their girlfriend Sadie go urban exploring at an abandoned Santa themed amusement park. Once inside, they accidentally release a deadly creature and are surprised when an older man calling himself Santa Claus offers to help capture the beast called Krampus. Slay Belles is not a serious horror movie but does feature some comedic moments, a terrifying Krampus monster, and ladies in sexy outfits using makeshift weapons to fight back. Santa Claus is played by veteran actor Barry Bostwick and is joined by Richard Moll and Diane Salinger in smaller roles. The cast of ladies includes Halloween and Zone of the Dead actress Kristina Klebe, Alleluia! The Devils Carnival Susan Slaughter and Hannah Wagner. Easily one of the better movies featuring Krampus, Slay Belles does offer a modern twist to the good vs. evil tale that does make for a silly but fun Christmas horror-comedy.

Slay Belles can be streamed on Amazon Prime and Tubi

Sunday, December 1, 2019

24 Days of LosMas- Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)

I will be posting Christmas themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas, for the first night, I am listing the 1987 slasher movie Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
Dir- Lee Harry
If only the final encounter could genuinely be the last. It seems the younger brother of the killer Santa from the first film has decided to wig out as well as take up where big brother left off. We have more of the pointless and often overly cruel murders mixed with flashbacks from the first film. I might point out that there is so much footage from the first film that you begin to wonder if these two films were made at the same time by two different directors using the same script. Silent Night II is a very mean spirited film, and compared with the first only makes you want to avoid it even more. I didn't even tell you that it was also trying to be funny with its infamous "Garbage Day" line being a popular meme.