One of my favorite new shows is “Darknet,” which is a technology-themed anthology series that you can stream now on Netflix. Finding out that many of the creative forces behind this series not only made a holiday horror film, but that it was premiering at the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, was like Christmas in July.
A Christmas Horror Story is directed by Grant Harvey (Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning), Brett Sullivan (Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, “Darknet,” “Orphan Black”), and Steven Hoban, and was produced by Mark Smith (Subconscious Password, 388 Arletta Ave) and Hoban (Haunter, Splice, Ginger Snaps). That’s quite a group of Canadian talent in one place, no?
I was able to unwrap A Christmas Horror Story prior to the film’s premiere, and was not disappointed.
A Christmas Horror Story is a holiday anthology that, instead of being blocked together one after another, is spliced together building to a series of climaxes. It’s an unusual way of telling an anthology, but one that I quite enjoyed as it allows for the film to play as a singular story with a basic story structure.
And much like all anthologies before it, some stories were better than others, although I would say they all were equally entertaining. The hit or miss came during the finale where each and every twist was revealed.
I can’t stand when reviews break down each story, so I’ll leave that for you, but I will say that I really enjoyed the tale about a “changeling” impersonating a family’s son, and found it incredibly frightening. The highlight, though, is the “Lobo”-esque wrap that pits Santa Claus against a horde of undead Elfs. It’s loaded with insane, bloody violence that’s also really fun in spirit. Hilariously, the finale had me scratching my head in frustration, only to have the filmmakers pull off a twist that’s so shocking it could save Christmas.
While A Christmas Horror Story doesn’t have the qualities of a big theatrical release, like Trick ‘r Treat, it’s glossy enough to bring joy to those however they end up seeing it.