A Christmas Horror Story (2015)
Director(s): Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan
Starring: George Buza, Rob Archer, Zoé De Grand Maison, Alex Ozerov & William Shatner
Released by: RLJ Entertainment
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
One year following a mysterious set of murders, A Christmas Horror Story centers on the interwoven tales of a trio of teenage investigators hoping to crack the case, the disturbed first responder whose young son becomes affected by the supernatural and a less than wholesome family hunted by the mythical Krampus. In addition, Santa Claus is overwhelmed by more than Christmas Eve chaos when his elves turn into bloodthirsty monsters. Continuing the revived trend of horror anthologies, A Christmas Horror Story takes full advantage of turning the cheeriest time of year into a bloody massacre. Blending a murder mystery with tales of changeling creatures and St. Nick battling his loyal helpers turned man-eaters is a rollicking fun time. While each set of characters share events in common, A Christmas Horror Story never truly brings them altogether for a more connective payoff, allowing each segment to stand better on their own hoofs. In addition, its generally unknown cast, comprised of local Canadian talent, are effective with the more prominent William Shatner (Star Trek) relegated to little more than a cameo as an eggnog chugging radio disc jockey. With each segment delivering the many unique subgenres of horror, all with pleasing doses of gore and crafty makeup effects, A Christmas Horror Story’s twist conclusion is a well added touch. Although undoubtedly timed to coincide with this Christmas’ horror opus Krampus, A Christmas Horror Story is an admirable indie effort with several effective scares that can stand tall with other niche Xmas shockers.
RLJ Entertainment presents A Christmas Horror Story with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. A product of the digital age, clarity is sharp and pleasing with skin tones appearing natural and well-defined. With the majority of its runtime spent in dim locations, black levels are inky and deep while, the brighter colors illuminating from decorations pop nicely. Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, sound quality impresses with dialogue consistently clear and the film’s more shocking moments of screams and other suspenseful jump moments hitting their marks. Relatively scant on supplements, the sole inclusion A Christmas Horror Story: Behind the Scenes (14:45) is a standard EPK with brief interviews from key talent and onset footage of the shoot.
Available now from RJL Entertainment, A Christmas Horror Story can be purchased via Amazon.com and other fine retailers.