Sunday 25 December 2022

REVIEW: Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022) - Starring Riley Dandy, Sam Delich and Jonah Ray

Review by Jon Donnis
In general I hate Christmas movies that have Christmas as the theme, I don't mind films that are associated with this time of year, like Die Hard, Jason and the Argonauts etc, but Christmas specific films I usually hate, so when I saw that our good friends at Shudder have released a Christmas horror film, I have to admit I was intrigued.

We start off with some Christmas advertisements playing on a TV, with someone changing the channels, each change starts a new ad. Suddenly there is a news flash regarding a robotic Santa that has been recalled due to a malfunction. At this point I had the Terminator music playing in my head!

It is Christmas Eve and the owner of a record store, Tori Tooms (played by the excellent Riley Dandy) along with her employee Robbie Reynolds (played by Sam Delich) are closing up the shop. They discuss Tori's upcoming date with a guy she matched with on Tinder, Robbie convinces her that he is probably secretly married and a dad to four kids, and that instead of going on the date she should go out for drinks with him. Before heading to the bar, they pop and see their friends Lahna (Dora Madison) and Jay (Jonah Ray) who run a toy store next door to the record shop. They have on display one of the robotic Santa's that we saw mentioned at the very start.

Lahna and Jay indicate they are going to have sex, so Tori and Robbie leave. While they have sex, the Santa comes to life and starts watching them, Santa then dismembers them using an axe.

Before you know it, Santa is on a killing spree, and Tori has to fight for her survival.

At roughly 80 minutes, this is the perfect length for a low budget horror film, even more perfect since it is Christmas and I have chocolate and cake to eat.

Christmas Bloody Christmas is a pretty straight forward film, as mentioned it is low budget, very low budget in fact, and at times it feels more like a film made by college students, however it is done pretty well, and the characters come across really natural and genuine, I would guess that much of the dialog is ad lib, as opposed to them following a strict script, I might be wrong, but that is how it felt. One of the problems with low budget films can sometimes be the acting, but they do a great job here, and although the robotic Santa looks way too human for much of its run, when they start fighting back, it does start to look a lot more like a robot.

The Good
The acting is surprisingly good throughout, they do a decent job with the budget they have, and although it is a standard slasher film, full of cliches, it all works well, and that run time is almost perfect.

The Bad
I wonder if they really needed to make Santa a robot, although I suppose it is a change from the usual slasher bad guy, who keeps coming back from the dead without reason, at least this way you know it's because they are a robot, so will need more than the usual to kill it.

If you are sick and tired of the usual rubbish you get at Christmas and want something a bit different and a bit more violent then you can't go wrong with Christmas Bloody Christmas, it is a fun horror film that ticks all of the boxes.

I score Christmas Bloody Christmas a fair 7.5/10

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