The Movie Waffler New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - CHRISTMAS BLOOD | The Movie Waffler

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New Release Review (DVD/VOD) - CHRISTMAS BLOOD

christmas blood review
A Yuletide get together is interrupted by a Santa impersonating killer.

Review by Sue Finn

Directed by: Reinert Kiil

Starring: Serge Krogtoft Larsen, Stig Henrik Hoff, Kylie Stephenson, Haddy Jallow

christmas blood poster

A young girl sneaks downstairs on Christmas Eve night; she is planning on surreptitiously unwrapping, peaking, and then re-wrapping her presents (a little trick that I mastered when I was a child). Unbeknownst to her she's not alone, and this ‘Santa Claus/home invasion/slasher’ beginning sure gets the blood pumping.

A past history of the now-caught killer is literally spelled out on the screen with no detail spared. Apparently he dresses as Father Christmas and slaughters people on his ‘list’ every Christmas Eve, and many, many people become his victims in the 13 years before he is captured.

Of course now he has escaped just in time for Yuletide - you'd better watch out!

Terje Hanson (Serge Krogtoft Larsen), the detective in charge of the case, understands that our killer will be out to finish his ‘job’ of killing all the folks whose names ended up on that list. He sets about contacting the final 14 named people, only to be informed that one of them died by suicide two weeks previously, a fact that Santa wouldn’t be aware of. When there’s no answer at the home, the detective takes it upon himself to head out there, accompanied by retired cop Thomas Rasch (Stig Henrik Hoff), to help apprehend his old nemesis - the killer he'd hunted for 13 years, shot, but failed to kill.

christmas blood review

Meanwhile a group of women are headed out to friend Julie's house in a remote village in Oslo to lend support after her mother (from ‘the list’) had hung herself in the shower a fortnight ago.

After hugs and “how are you”s, deaf friend Elisabeth shows up and they settle in for a more in depth catch up after years apart.

Meanwhile our Killer Claus is out making more victims, crossing those names off of his list and heading closer to where the women are just waiting to be next to die.

It's Polar Night, the time in Oslo when there is no sunrise, and even though it's the next morning (Christmas Eve), it's still dark outside and will continue to be so.

A hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs is enjoyed by all bar the Australian girl (Kylie Stephenson) who opts for vegemite on toast of course, though I must say no Australian would EVER put it on that thick - its downright sacrilege!

We get to know more about the friends - Swedish pot smoking Ritika (Haddy Jallow) is the rebel of the group and already small rifts are building up around her. For someone expected to be deep in grief, Julie is almost chipper. Aussie girl likes a drink and dad humour.

christmas blood review

Quiet Katja shows up with boyfriend Kristian in tow.

“How do you know her" she asks him, indicating Ritika after Kristian is a little more familiar with her than his girlfriend would have liked. “I shot a music video with her once,” he says. Hmm, I sense domestic troubles ahead.

Perhaps I'm losing my sense of humour in my old-age but the scene where a mortician licks cream from the body of a dead person just seems ridiculous to me and unnecessarily stomach churning; it did however strike me that perhaps it was a nod to Friday the 13th Part IV, and so it gets a slim pass from me, but its scraping the barrel of very bad taste.

The women seem to spend as much time arguing with each other as having fun dancing around to Eurotrash pop songs, so not sure this reunion was such a great idea after all.

Later, they are joined by rapey backwards Tinder brothers who look like the definition of hillbilly and add nothing to the party but make a bad situation much worse.

Hanson and Rasch finally track the next target to the small village where the ladies are holding their reunion/’cheer up Julia’ get together; and its here that the final bloody showdown reaches its zenith.

christmas blood review

The acting is all above average, the snowy surrounds nicely captured and writer/director Reinert Kiil does decent work, particularly in the framing of some of the more artistic shots.

Some badly misjudged sexual violence aside, the kills here are generally satisfyingly gruesome, though the mood lighting means you have to use your imagination when it comes to precise details and I was often unable to decipher exactly what I was looking at, which is a shame.

There are some questionable decisions made by the friends that had me roll my eyes a few times; and for all the talk of his list, it seems our killer is none too choosy about who he murders, and in fact it pretty much descends into a free-for-all, which really does put paid to the entire plot, flimsy as it already is.

Horror and Christmas have enjoyed a comfortable relationship for many years with each Festive season bringing with it more Christmas scares, and I have to admit to having a soft spot for the combination despite the numerous turkeys (see what I did there?) outweighing the more admirable fare.

Christmas Blood is not quite the Christmas slasher miracle I was hoping for, but it's better then a lump of coal in your stocking.

Christmas Blood is on DVD/VOD now.


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