Red Christmas (2016) Review: Depressing Holiday Flick

“This Christmas, the only thing under the tree is terror.”

Synopsis: A mother must protect her family on Christmas Day from a demented stranger who is hell-bent on tearing them apart.

Red Christmas (2016) Review Poster
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Calamity Brains:

I don’t normally bother with warnings – I figure y’all are already into horror films and therefore probably a bit fucked in the head anyway. But in this case, I’m making an exception: if abortion is a sensitive topic for you, don’t watch this movie.

I went into Red Christmas blind, expecting some generic holiday slasher – only without the snow, since it’s set in Australia. Oof, was I wrong. Instead of gory fun, Red Christmas sends you on a feels train to nopeville and leaves you pretty fucking depressed. Not really what I look for in a horror flick.

The movie is fairly low budget. Most of the death special effects involve cutaways (with the exception of one fairly entertaining moment involving what I think was a blender). You won’t find any fancy camera angles here, and Christmas lights attempt to double for interesting lighting and fail miserably. The story is also awkward and uncomfortable and fairly nonsensical. Still, the acting is pretty solid, with particularly stellar performances by Dee Wallace and Gerard O’Dwyer.

In the end, Red Christmas comes off much more like a family drama than a slasher flick. The best parts are the interpersonal moments in this fairly dysfunctional family. Between the cutaways and the added drama of the pregnant sister going into labor, the murders don’t seem particularly real for most of the story. If you’re into movies with a heavy emotional angle and a touch of gore, then maybe you’ll find something special in Red Christmas. Otherwise, give this one a pass.

Calamity Brains’ Rating: C
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Calamity Brains

The Codex Mortis Horror Hosts (Ludwig von Stroodle and Calamity Brains) are married and live in West Virginia. Pretty much everyone who sees their cabin agrees that it would be an ideal setting for a horror movie. Their pets include a black widow spider, a smart dog, and a stupid dog. When they aren’t watching horror movies, they can be found at whiskey festivals, Renaissance fairs, and board game nights.

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