I love cheesy horror as much as anybody, especially when you tie into something held sacred by so many, like Christmas. Usually, these films are done with the sort of sly wink from the filmmaker to acknowledge that it’s all meant to be silly fun. Unfortunately, I don’t really get that feeling with this Christmas horror film, “Christmas Evil.” And there is good silly and bad silly.
I’m afraid this falls into the latter.
I just want to grab the filmmaker and say, “Oh, honey. What were you thinking?” First of all, the whole “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” reference is nowhere near enough to traumatize a child, turning them into a psychotic adult. Not getting that. Then the whole scene where the deranged little boy decides to break a snow globe and cut himself is really confusing. Is that supposed to be interpreted as trying to slash wrists? It seems like he just cut his hand, which makes no sense whatsoever.
When the movie fast forwards to the adult psycho, I’ve seen many critics talk about the good performance of a man descending into madness. Oh PUH-lease. It was just silly. Bad silly. Not even so-silly-it’s-funny. The things that supposedly make him finally snap are so trivial that you can’t possibly believe even a psycho would be set off by them. And if so, he should have gone off the deep end a long time ago. I mean, a guy fooling you into covering his shift? A couple of fancy New Yorkers teasing you a little bit about your Santa suit?
Embracing the nonsense yields a few favorite moments: a group of New Yorkers turning into a torch-carrying mob, literally, and a guy falling over an embankment in the snow and you can see the rug underneath the fake snow moving with him. That was definitely an Ed Wood moment, may he rest in peace. And then that last scene with the van doing a “Thelma and Louise” leap and then an “E.T” flying across the moonlit sky… Sweet baby Jesus. That is a hot mess.
This is definitely one you watch after a lot of alcohol, or whatever substance of choice, because that’s the only thing that will make this entertaining. Especially if you get the special double feature edition packaged with “Silent Night, Bloody Night” that is set up movie theater style with the opening concession stand pitches as well as vintage cartoons of Casper and Popeye.
Don’t say you weren’t warned. Go rent or buy “Black Christmas” instead. Or the super size bottle of your favorite adult beverage.