Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bloody Greetings

Deadly Little Christmas 2009
Director: Novin Shokiba
Writers: Jeremiah Campbell and Novin Shokiba
Starring Felissa Rose, Barbara Jean Barrielle, Anthony Campanella, Eric Fischer, Leah Grimsson, Samuel Nathan Hoffmire and Monique La Barr

This was yet another in the expanding sub category in horror films of the Christmas horror film. I mainly sleeked this one out because it stars Felissa Rose and I have always liked her work since Sleepaway Camp. The film borrows a lot of its plot elements from Halloween and that does work in its favor. It pretty much follows the beat of that story until the last act of the film which turns it all on its head at the end and it works really well for the film. There is not much originality in the film but I think the performance by Rose really pushes this film past being another mediocre horror film. The kills are quite good too and the ending is quite pleasing and is they definite ending you want for this type of film. It is a very low budget film, but I think it really works in its favor and does not detract from my enjoyment of the film.
The plot basics are this, a family is celebrating Christmas and everything goes well until the young boy in the family goes crazy over not getting to play with his sister's gifts and for that grabs a knife and brutally kills his father and his nanny, who his father was having an affair with. We flash forward 15 years later and Devin (Hoffmire), the young boy is grown now, and in a psychiatric asylum. He is brooding and seems to be waiting for something. His mother )Rose) is visiting him and is distraught that he is spiraling into madness. While his 2 sisters Taylor (La Barr) and Noel (Grimsson) are far from this and planning a Christmas play. Soon, Devin escapes and begins killing anyone involved with the family in gruesome ways and working his way to his family, or so it would seem. This all leads to a showdown between all the family members and the truth is uncovered. What this all leads too will shock the sisters and will end with a dramatic ending.
This is a fun slasher film. The direction of Shokiba is very good, he does the killer POV scenes very well and also sends the viewer into great misdirection till the final act. But, as you think about what you saw it becomes clear to you that this was where it was headed from the beginning. The script is good, if somewhat predictable. The characters are all pretty stereotypical, but still entertaining. The cast is good, but the shining star of the film is the performance of Felissa Rose, she really digs into her part and really hams it up. She is a delight to watch especially when she is berating the staff of the hospital when her homicidal son escapes. Hoffmire is good as Devin too, he has a quiet intensity that reminds me of John Sheperd as Tommy Jarvis in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning. The SFX and makeup effects are very well done. The kills are extreme and very bloody. I especially liked the bullet to the head scene, that was excellently done. This is a fun Christmas horror film, but not on the par of my favorite, which is Santa's Slay.
This one gets 3 out of 5

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