David Ian and Rebekah McKendry wrote and directed this latest anthology feature of a Christmas horror film while making sure to drown it in the festive color lights, and wintry mix, rather making sure to let the stories and actors themselves star in the production, and thereby allowing them to advance it on their own. Their version of the classic redone in a modern manner for the younger audience of horror fans, especially those unfamiliar with a Christmas Carol, or the meaning behind the songs.
As with anthology, trying to tell or even review is a difficult task no one wants to reveal the storylines, and often enough short films, just that, short 15 to 20 minutes perhaps less in case, limit cast and props, very fast pace creations. Therefore, once again I shall tell only so much, first the stories won’t be in order, aside from the wrap around one, why, simple one should explore the films themselves, after all many times these shorts star the rising actors in the horror business. It starts with Max (Graham Skipper (The Mind’s Eye ), who seems more interested in phone calls and bathroom breaks and Jenna (Ashley Clements) meeting for a blind date in Southern California to take in a small theater play, which consist of 3-actors do an opening and closing performance of each tale and a silent director (Maria Olsen (The Conduit ) flipping the title cards, one cute thing of the these actors, the red tinsel used for guts/blood spilling out of a person. The first story entitled “The Stockings Were Hung” the setting a Christmas office party, or a merry time of cubical hell, many workers treat the janitor (Larry Zerner (Friday the 13th Part III ) as crap, later the corporate folks gather in a meeting only to find out their party contains deadly gifts. Fans of SiREN (2016) or Victor Crowley (2017) might notice the character Ty as Chase Williamson. Next up, is the tale of “In A Twinkling” contains a fun twist of sci-fi, many know or television transmission transit beyond the planet, and often thought aliens see many odd things, and this story tells of it, but goes further with the fun weirdness factors. When Gabby (Constance Wu) seeks to celebrate and boyfriend Steve (Morgan Peter Brown (Absentia ) rather just chain himself up on Christmas Eve. There’s even a story in which Rudolph the red nose reindeer avenges the senseless death of Biltzen, its quite comical, yet well done. However, of the more interested and acclaimed stories comes from “Dash Away All” when Eric (Matt Long (Ghost Rider ), locks both keys and his phone in a car, and resorts to the help of strangers, but forgets the rules, never accept anything from a stranger, sadly it comes to bite him in the end, and effects his family forever. A story for those individuals with their dreaded birthdays on Christmas, like real life actress Sissy Spacek. But this short had wonderful cinematography, storytelling and chemistry between Sasha (Catherine Parker (The Family ) and Frankie (Makeda Declet) characters. Then reinventing and modernizing a Christmas Carol, Chet (Jonathan Kite) as a scrooge mentality who enjoys stealing Christmas wreaths and blow molds, snorting cocaine and talking nasty to his girlfriend Linda, fun to watch his conversion progress.
The pace of each story works very well, a brief bump in the road with one segment, but quickly overlooked as the black humor along different hues of horror display in the short movies. Even the production clearly a labor of love, the passion pours through clever screenwriting, aided by friendships that help the film, clearly micro budgeting occurs in the special effects department namely blood, too watery in some scenes. While roles both leads and secondary as well as the occasional cameo horror fun for trivia fun, for the horror fans to spot, too many to name in this review but a fun discovery for the viewers. However, squander did occur with the nonspeaking role of stage director/MC for Maria Olsen, clearly larger with dialogue available for her contribution.
By far, nowhere near a scary movie, however the markers never aimed in that direction, rather designed as a modern classic anthology that punches up holiday themes from the classic retelling of old movies, to that of a boring office party with a dire twist. It includes stalkers, curses, demons, upset wildlife, and blind date layer practical effects and solid storytelling.
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.5/10