Friday, September 16, 2011
Director: Lewis Jackson
Writer: Lewis Jackson
Genre: Horror: Holiday
Also known as You Better Watch Out, Christmas Evil is an example of one of the best Christmas horror films. Of course, the pedigree of most holiday-themed slashers isn't very high, but Christmas Evil is pretty exceptional.
The movie starts us off with a lovely family Christmas Eve. One young boy thinks he hears Santa so he descends down the stairs to check. Unfortunately, he comes across a mentally-scarring scene instead which haunts him for the rest of his life (well, into his 40s or so which is when the film takes place). Despite this scene etched into the back of his mind, he has come to love Christmas and even works for a toy company.
Our lead is so ultimately pitiful that's it kind of hard to feel for him. Still, it's fun to watch his antics and try to get an idea of what he's thinking. For a Christmas horror film it's not nearly as slasher-tastic as others tend to go (I'm looking at you Silent Night, Deadly Night). It's dark, sure, but in a more believable way than most. When watching it I was struck at the fact there was even a cohesive plot in it and not just an excuse to have a guy in a Santa suit slash up pedestrians.
It's rare to find a holiday horror film that's actually decent. I'm happy to have watched it and suggest maybe viewing Trick 'r Treat alongside it. I'd have said Black Christmas (1974) instead but that's not nearly as Christmas-related as this, nor as "friendly" a horror film.