Saturday, December 24, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Dead of Night (1945)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the final night, I am posting the horror anthology Dead of Night.

Dead of Night (1945)

Dir- Alberto Cavalcanti, Charles Crichton, Basil Dearden & Robert Hamer

Classic chiller involves gathering people who have experienced dreams that seem to repeat themselves in reality. The tales involve everything from phantom hearses to haunted mirrors. For example, one story focuses on a teen playing hide-and-seek during a Christmas party where she encounters something paranormal. The final sequence with Michael Redgrave as a ventriloquist is a knockout. The movie progresses from great to outstanding as the tales go on, and the twist ending is most enjoyable. Produced before the war and held up due to a wartime ban on horror films, the Dead of Night is one of the best-made horror anthologies. American theatrical version ran 77 minutes, but a complete edition has been restored for DVD and Bluray release. I recommend that you locate the fully restored version to enjoy the absolute magnificence of this classic British thriller.

Friday, December 23, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Psycho Santa 2 (2021)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twenty-third night, I am posting Psycho Santa 2. 

Psycho Santa 2 (2021)

Years after the events in Psycho Santa, the now burned-faced Santa-dressed Killer returns to murder a new set of victims and learns he has a son. Meanwhile, the sibling of one of his victims from the first film seeks answers and hopes to confront the person responsible for his sister's fate. Surprisingly, after nearly twenty years, we see this low-budget sequel to the relatively unknown video release of Psycho Santa. While the first film was set up as an anthology, Psycho Santa 2 is a straightforward slasher with a new cast and director. Nearly ten minutes of the film is a flashback from the first movie using the footage to summarize one of the character's reasons for appearing. Directed by Lucien Eisenach, Psycho Santa 2 features a primarily male cast that doesn't stand out except for the only female character. Psycho Santa 2 is a low-budget film that, despite being 70 minutes long, seemed to drag due to its slow pace and uninteresting characters. Psycho Santa 2 offers nothing to the holiday horror genre and will likely be another film in Tubi's holiday rotation. 

Thursday, December 22, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- The Wolf of Snow Hollow

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twenty-second night, I am posting The Wolf of Snow Hollow.

The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020)

A small ski town in Utah is in a state of fear as the bodies of mutilated people turn up every full moon. With the Sheriff ailing, it is up to his son and the other deputies to find answers before the winter holidays yield its next victims. This 2020 horror comedy was written and directed and stars Jim Cummings as the troubled deputy whose family and work are falling apart due to his alcoholism and rage issues. Although the Wolf of Snow Hollow plays out as a black comedy with hints that a werewolf is at work, this film benefits from the winter setting and the excellent performance by Cummings as John Marshall. The film also stars Riki Lindhome, Chloe East, and Robert Forster in one of his final roles. The film does have some gory moments but the great roles and tight script allow the film to play out as more a monster movie than a slasher. The Wolf of Snow Hollow was one of the best werewolf-themed movies in recent years and will pair well with The Werewolf Within as both take place in wintery settings.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Winter's Blood (2019)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twenty-first night, I am posting Winter's Blood.

Winter's Blood (2019)

A terrified woman is chased by a cult looking to make her part of their bloody holiday ritual. Parker Brennon directs this horror short, and despite its four-minute length, Winter's Blood is a terrifying and bloody little holiday film that will stay with you after its conclusion. 

24 Days of LosMas- Amityville Christmas Vacation (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twentieth night, I am posting Amityville Christmas Vacation. 

Amityville Christmas Vacation (2022)

An average regular cop named Wally Griswald wins a vacation to Amityville and meets the woman of his dreams. Yet he is surprised to learn that she is not of this world, and as the love between them blossoms, they face perils from the evil home renter and a spirit hunter. Amityville Christmas Vacation is one of the many unrelated Amityville movies released in recent years, capitalizing on the Amityville Horror phenomena. Directed by Steve Rudzinski, who also directed CarousHell, Red Christmas appears as the goofy but likable Wally. Written as a horror comedy, Amityville Christmas Vacation plays out like a ghostly version of the many Christmas romance movies that seem to spawn like weeds. While it is silly, the film is goofy enough to find an audience who appreciates holiday horror on Tubi and is less than an hour long. 

Monday, December 19, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the nineteenth night, I am posting Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival.

Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival

Visiting the town of East Willard for a funeral, siblings Angelica and James learn of the legend of Black Peter, Santa's evil brother. Yet when a series of murders occur, they discover that the town is hiding an even darker secret when they find the journal of Jeffrey Butler. Silent Night, Bloody Night 2: Revival was directed by Dustin Ferguson and stars Julia Farrell, Luc Bernier, and 80s star Jennifer Runyon. Released 43 years after the original unrelated film Silent Night, Bloody Night 2 attempts to follow up this classic horror movie by introducing a new story involving the legend of Black Peter. Featuring footage from the 1972 film, Silent Night 2 may look like a direct sequel but instead is a wholly independent movie taking advantage of the original film's public domain status to make this film look like a legit sequel. Unfortunately, while the storyline in Silent Night 1 was innovative in the early 1970s, Silent Night 2 suffers from a glut of holiday horror movies that all seem to copy the five decades of slasher movies that have followed.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Season's Greetings 2

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the eighteenth night, I am posting Season's Greetings 2.

Season's Greetings 2

A holiday anthology with a narrator introducing three terrifying holiday tales from the people who brought us Don't F*** in the Woods. The first involves a woman and a cult looking for victims to sacrifice. The second is a woman angry at her fiance for cheating on her and encountering a stalker. The final segment features St Nick's trusted Elf, who confronts some that made Santa's naughty list. Clocking in at under an hour, Season Greetings 2 only spends a little time with each story, yet the tales are bloody and well-made. The film is a sequel to the 2016 horror short Seasons Greetings and features directors Brittany Blanton, Rob Collins, and Travis Wilson. My only complaint was with the first segment; the outcome could have been less confusing and too short of a story. Overall, Season's Greetings 2 is a decent anthology with a cast of unknown yet competent actors and three truly unique tales.   

Saturday, December 17, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Christmas Twister (2012)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the seventeenth night, I am posting Christmas Twister.

Christmas Twister (2012)

As the city of Ft Worth, Texas, prepares for Christmas vacation, a university scientist sees weather patterns that look unusual for the season. Unfortunately, given his reputation for overcautious reporting, the local news ignores his warnings as a powerful storm system develops, resulting in massive twisters and threatening the city and his family. Christmas Twister is a 2012 disaster movie directed by Peter Sullivan and starring Casper Van Dien. While not a horror movie in the traditional sense, Christmas Twister is a 1970's style disaster film that follows a similar format to classic films such as Earthquake, The Towering Inferno, and The Swarm. Like many made-for-TV movies, this film focuses on a small cast that does a decent job of playing their roles. Ultimately, this film seems out of place with more traditional slashers and apocalyptic-style disaster movies.  

Friday, December 16, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Krampus, The Devil Returns

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the sixteenth night, I am posting Krampus, The Devil Returns.

Krampus, The Devil Returns

In the past decade, numerous low-budget Krampus movies were produced to take advantage of the Michael Dougherty 2015 film. One of the exceptions was the 2013 indie horror movie directed by Jason Hull Krampus, The Christmas Devil. This film featured Bill Oberst, Jr and not much else besides showing the legend of Krampus and his relationship with Santa. In this 2015 sequel, former police officer Jeremy Duffin returns to help find the monster that kidnapped his daughter and other children in the community. Along the way, he learns some secrets and again has to face off against the evil Christmas demon and some other dangerous characters. Unfortunately, like the first movie, Krampus, The Devil Returns is a victim of its low budget and terrible script. The cast does feature some notable horror actors, A Mihailoff and Tiffany Fest. Still, they are wasted on this wholly unnecessary and disappointing film that will get watched by those thinking it is the 2015 big studio release.  

Thursday, December 15, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Jack Frost (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fifteenth night, I am posting the 2022 film, Jack Frost.

Jack Frost (2022)

Not to be confused with the late 90's horror comedy involving a snarky snowman, this 2022 film features a more traditional take on the holiday villain. An English family decides to celebrate Christmas despite the warnings from their Grandmother, who survived a brutal attack at the hands of Jack Frost years prior. Jack Frost appears and immediately gets to work, making their holiday celebration an icy and deadly affair. While not as silly as the 1998 unrelated film, Jack Frost focuses on crafting a back story involving a war with Santa and creating a mythology to construct this villain as a winter version of Jason or Freddy. The budget may be low, but this film does deliver on some creative kills, and Jack Frost does show some promise as a potential franchise villain. Unfortunately, the low budget and derivative storyline hamper this film's attempt at creating a new holiday villain. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- The Christmas Tapes (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fourteenth night, I am posting The Christmas Tapes.

The Christmas Tapes (2022)

On Christmas Eve, a family's kind gesture toward a stranger turns on for the worse when they are kidnapped and held hostage as he shows them a series of Christmas-themed VHS tapes that may determine their fate. The Christmas Tapes is a holiday horror anthology written and directed by Robert Livings and Randy Nundlall Jr. There are four tales, each presenting different people facing a deadly situation disrupting their otherwise regular holiday. The wrap-around segment is a scary story, with the stranger holding the family's fate based on what they think of the tapes they are shown. The Christmas Tapes is told in a found footage style and is very similar in concept to the VHS series of films. 

The first segment has a couple on a camping trip in the woods as they discover they are not alone at night. The second segment features a father wanting to give his family a unique gift ad turning to an older gentleman dressed as Santa to deliver him wrapped up. This segment features veteran actor Vernon Wells in a role that is one of the best in the movie. The third segment is the shortest of the tapes and is the untitled segment. The final one is the longest of the segments and features a young couple moving into a new home only to discover that some dark force may be present. This final segment features comedy horror actor Dave Sheridan in a truly unique role as Paranormal Perry. 

Overall The Christmas Tapes is a solid entry in both the found footage and holiday horror genres. While the film looks like part of the VHS series, The Christmas Tapes sets its style by relying more on traditional horror tales with its great cast of veteran actors. The only fault I had with the movie was the third segment, which was too short and somewhat predictable. 

The Christmas Tapes stars Greg Sestero, Vernon Wells, and Dave Sheridan; the movie will be released during the 2022 holiday season, just in time for Christmas. I recommend adding this film to your holiday horror watchlist. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Krampus: The Return (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the thirteenth night, I am posting Krampus: The Return

Krampus: The Return (2022)

After the apparent suicide of her brother, a young woman suspects that his death may have been the work of the Christmas demon Krampus. She then seeks clues to find out the truth and, if necessary, plans to confront and defeat this holiday menace. In the past few years, Krampus has emerged as a new holiday villain with mostly terrible movies that are not worth checking out. However, Krampus: The Return does avoid the mistake of a CGI-generated villain and stands out as a decent horror holiday tale. As mediocre as this film is, the lead actress Natasha Rose Mills does stand out with her effective performance as the stoic sibling. This film is better than the half-dozen knockoff Krampus movies released in recent years but pales compared to the 2015 Michael Dougherty classic. Nevertheless, Krampus: The Return with worth checking out if you have burned through all your other holiday horror movie choices. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Stuffings (2021)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the twelfth night, I am posting the Australian horror comedy Stuffings.

Stuffings (2021)

A social media-obsessed couple travels to a remote community in Australia during the Christmas holiday to go camping and to blog about their travels. However, they soon discover that the remote town they camp near is hiding a dark secret related to the Christmas holiday, and they intend to keep it secret. "Stuffings" is a 2021 indie holiday horror movie directed by Mathew J Wilkinson and starring Kathleen Halligan and Daniel Moody. The film plays into our obsession with social media and how the tensions between the couple are elevated when they discover that they are not on the same page. The town's secret is unique and makes for an excellent subject for this horror movie that utilizes some point-of-view techniques. As with other Christmas movies filmed in Australia, you won't see snow or cold weather, so don't expect a winter wonderland. However, you will get some gory moments and creepy rural vibes that will remind the viewer that sometimes it's best to stay in the city.   

Sunday, December 11, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Violent Night (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the eleventh night, I am posting Violent Night.

Violent Night (2022)

In the late 1980s, the movie Scrooged featured a preview for an absurd Christmas film involving a terrorist attack on Santas Workshop titled The Night the Reindeer Died. Little did we know that thirty years later, we would see a fighting Santa taking on a group of armed terrorists in the 2022 black comedy film Violent Night. David Harbour plays the not-so-jolly fat man facing off against a team of armed terrorists who have taken a wealthy yet dysfunctional family hostage and are looking to take a horde of cash. Despite wanting to avoid any trouble, the pleas of a young girl who believes convince him to step and use his Christmas magic to save the evening. Directed by Tommy Wirkola, known for his horror-comedy zombie films Dead Snow and Dead Snow2, Violent Night follows in the black comedy style that made those films cult favorites. Living up to the name, Violent Night does not hold back once Santa unleashes his fury on an army of terrorists using a bit of Christmas magic and old-fashioned brute force. While not a horror movie, Violent Night is much like a Die Hard movie with extreme vengeance and an excellent performance by Stranger Things star David Harbour. The rest of the cast includes John Leguizamo, Beverly D'Angelo, and Leah Brady as Trudy Lightstone. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Weredeer (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the tenth night, I am posting Weredeer. 

Weredeer (2022)

A young woman visiting her boyfriend's family out in the country is bitten by a deer and turns into a crazed "were-deer" when the full moon comes out. Afterward, her boyfriend's family becomes victims of the crazed deer hybrid and her killer hoofs. Weredeer is a low-budget horror comedy directed by Andrew Dyson and starring Anna Broadway as Hannah the Weredeer. Despite the silly premise, Weredeer is a fun holiday horror-comedy that captures the stress and fears that the holidays can bring forth, especially when one is meeting the family of their loved one. The Weredeer makeup is simple and silly, but the kills are fun to watch, and the film itself doesn't drag as it's barely over an hour long. With so many absurd holiday horror movies to choose from Weredeer is a surprisingly fun and goofy movie that will find itself in my holiday horror rotation.  

Friday, December 9, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the ninth night, I am posting Christmas Bloody Christmas.

Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022)

A shopowner named Tori wants to get drunk and enjoy partying with her friends on Christmas Eve when her friend's toy store Santa robot goes haywire and starts killing everything in sight. Tori fights to survive as she tries to convince the local authorities that this Killer Santa is no pushover. Just in time for the holidays, Director Joe Begos directs what has to be one of the best Killer Santa movies ever. Playing out as a cross between The Terminator and Class of 1999, Christmas Bloody Christmas is a wild and violent holiday horror film mixing bloody kills with an impressive performance by actress Riley Dandy in the role of Tori Tooms. This role helps the film stand out with a fighting spirit that would impress Ellen Ripley. Christmas Bloody Christmas will become an instant classic for the Killer Santa robot and the great cast and original take on the Killer Santa genre.  

Thursday, December 8, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Christmas Cruelty! (2013)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the eighth night, I am posting the Norweigian slasher Christmas Cruelty!

Christmas Cruelty! (2013)

A serial killer dressed as Santa targets families and a small circle of friends in a Norweigian town during the holidays where being naughty or nice makes no difference. Christmas Cruelty is a 2013 holiday horror movie directed by Per-Ingvar Tomren and Magne Steinvoll and written by Eline Aasheim, Janne Iren Holster, and Anita Nyhagen. Christmas Cruelty is rather unconventional for a horror film in that we are shown a very graphic and violent attack on a family, followed by a storyline involving a group of friends who are the next victims. The serial killer dressed as Santa is played by Tormod Lien and is shown to be a rather plain individual, not a violent-looking maniac. Yet when he attacks this group later in the film, we are shown how sadistic and depraved he is as the killer. Christmas Cruelty tempers these violent scenes with some unexpected humor and makes for a unique holiday black comedy. Overall, Christmas Cruelty is hard to describe in a few sentences and is best experienced on the screen to get the full impact of this movie. Yet I must warn that the film includes scenes of sexual assault and the intense violence mentioned earlier. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- The Killing Tree (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the seventh night, I am posting The Killing Tree.

The Killing Tree (2022)

Christmas horror films often feature an innocent symbol of the holiday being turned into the villain as it seeks to kill the holiday crowd. Some popular entries include killer snowmen, killer Santas, and even Krampus. The Killing Tree, directed by Rhys Frake-Waterfield, is a movie featuring a killer Christmas tree as one of the craziest holiday villains. A widow uses dark magic to resurrect her deceased husband, who was executed for murdering a family the year prior. The spell goes wrong, and he comes back as a Christmas tree and wants to seek revenge on the Final Girl who defeated him. The Killing Tree is a horror comedy in the tradition of Jack Frost and follows the same pattern of kills using tree limbs and Christmas lights. Unfortunately, the killer tree doesn't tell as many silly jokes, and the film relies on too much hokey CGI for some of the kills and borrows too much from Jack Frost. The Killing Tree isn't terrible, but it lacks the cult appeal of Jack Frost and seems like a ripoff of that film.   

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Satan Claus

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fifth night, I am posting the horror film Satan Claus

Satan Claus (1995)

A serial killer dressed as Santa enjoys murdering people and taunting the authorities in New York City as he collects body parts for his creepy Christmas tree. Fortunately, the police are determined to stop him, along with a man dressed as Santa and his voodoo-practicing friend. Satan Claus is an ultra-low-budget slasher directed by Massimiliano Cerchi and written by Simonetta Mostarda. While the film is only an hour long, much of it suffers from poor lighting, making it difficult to watch. The special effects are also terrible, with body parts being mannequins and fake blood. The film has a decent story idea but falls apart due to issues with editing, terrible acting, and an ending that makes no sense. As a result, there isn't much to recommend about this movie except for a crash course on not lighting a horror film, especially if the highlight nude scene is too dark to showcase. 

Monday, December 5, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- He Knows (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fifth night, I am posting the horror film He Knows. 

He Knows (2022)

A young girl witnesses her family being murdered by a person dressed as an elf; years later, she fears he may have returned, looking to make her daughter his next victim. He Knows, a 2022 holiday horror movie directed by Steven Morris and featuring horror icon Lynn Lowry. The villain in He Knows looks excellent; the Elf borrows a little from Art, the Clown, and it comes across as a twisty take on the Elf on the Shelf. The story does seem routine but is better than most other holiday horror movies that rely on a deadly version of Christmas characters.  

Sunday, December 4, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Psycho Santa (2003)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the fourth night, I am posting Psycho Santa.

Psycho Santa (2003)

While taking a holiday drive, a man tells his girlfriend, some terrifying tales about a killer Santa that committed a series of murders in the community they are traveling to for Christmas. This holiday slasher is set up as an anthology, but the stories needed more structure, with two serving as nothing more than to show gratuitous nudity. In addition, we see very little of the Psycho Santa until the later segments, so someone must have remembered they needed a Psycho Santa. Otherwise, this forgettable holiday slasher will only draw viewers during the Yuletide season. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Nutcracker Massacre (2022)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the third night, I am posting Nutcracker Massacre.

Nutcracker Massacre (2022)

After catching her partner cheating on her, a young woman takes an early holiday trip to visit her aunt and purchases a handcrafted nutcracker for her. While there, she and others are creeped out by the lifesized wooden nutcracker that becomes possessed and seeks revenge on those who cross it. Nutcracker Massacre looks good, and the cast is decent, but the film can't decide if the villain is supposed to move or kill out of frame. For a movie with Massacre in the name, it is surprisingly lacking in the level of gore you would expect to see in a holiday slasher. Despite this, Nutcracker Massacre features an original take on a classical Christmas decoration and one of the season's best-looking posters.  

Friday, December 2, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1992)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the second night, I am posting the almost final entry of the SNDN series.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1992)

A crazed toymaker decides to make killer toys that turn on their owners. Is it me, or does this sound similar to Puppetmaster and Halloween III? Mickey Rooney appears as the old toy maker named Joe Petto (Pinocchio for those literature-challenged folks) who crafts evil little toys that are pretty creative. Meanwhile, a widowed mother fears her son may be the target of a mysterious man who is also interested in Petto's creep toys. Silent Night, Deadly Night 5 takes the story of Pinocchio and turns it into a twisted tale that makes this film the strangest of the series. Likely this was an independent film that was included in the series to add another entry to this dubious franchise. This film was the last official SNDN film until the 2012 remake Silent Night was released. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

24 Days of LosMas- The Christmas Season Massacre (2001)

I will be posting Christmas-themed horror films over the next 24 days of LosMas; for the first night, I am posting The Christmas Season Massacre.

The Christmas Season Massacre (2001)

Ultra-low budget slasher about a group of friends who become victims of a bullied classmate who thinks he is a pirate. While the film bills itself as a Christmas-themed slasher, it was filmed in the spring or summer and had no look of winter except for some Christmas ornaments. The cast includes amateurs who perform stereotypical roles along with an attractive woman who, of course, is shown nude. Hard to find and not currently streaming, The Christmas Season Massacre is the perfect piece of coal to ruin a holiday season.