Sunday 17 December 2017

Once Upon a Time at Christmas

d. Paul Tanter; w. Christopher Jolley; p. Mem Ferda, Paul Tanter, Simon Phillips; cast: Simon Phillips, Laurel Brady, Jeff Ellenberger, Barry Kennedy, Sayla Vee De Goede, Susannah Mackay, David Lee

Enjoyable festive slasher set in a small town in New York State where a disgruntled psycho in a Santa suit is committing murder on a daily basis, assisted by an insane girl-woman obviously modelled on Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn. Annoying mall-hanging teenagers are thankfully despatched early as the story concentrates on the Sheriff and Deputy trying to cope with ever-increasing piles of bodies. You’ll work out what’s happening about half through, after which it becomes increasingly unbelievable that the cops haven’t. But that level of unbelievability is part of the fun of a good slasher, along with some cheesy coincidences, and the script (based on a story by Phillips - in the Santa suit - and Tanter, who cameos as a coroner) walks that fine line commendably. Filmed in Canada, this premiered at the British Horror Film Festival in London in October 2017. A sequel was announced almost immediately after release.

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