A Christmas Horror Story

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A Christmas Horror Story
A Christmas Horror Story poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
  • Steven Hoban
  • Mark Smith
Written byJason Filiatrault
James Kee
Sarah Larsen
Doug Taylor
Pascal Trottier
StarringWilliam Shatner
Zoé De Grand Maison
Adrian Holmes
Amy Forsyth
Rob Archer
George Buza
Music byAlex Khaskin
CinematographyGavin Smith
Edited byBrett Sullivan
D. Gillian Truster
Production
company
Copperheart Entertainment
Distributed byImage Entertainment (DVD)
RLJ Entertainment (all media)
Release date
  • July 20, 2015 (2015-07-20) (FIFF)
  • October 23, 2015 (2015-10-23) (Canada)
Running time
99 minutes
CountryCanada
LanguageEnglish

A Christmas Horror Story is a 2015 anthology horror film directed by Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban, and Brett Sullivan.[1] It premiered on July 20, 2015 at the Fantasia International Film Festival and had a limited theatrical release on October 2, 2015, along with a VOD release.[2] The film is a series of interwoven stories tied together by a framework story featuring William Shatner as a radio DJ.

Plot[edit]

Dangerous Dan (William Shatner) is an alcoholic radio DJ stuck pulling a long shift at the Bailey Downs radio station during Christmas. During his broadcast, he keeps receiving notices of a disturbance at the local mall, telling his listeners to stay away. Dan keeps playing his music while a series of four stories are witnessed:

First story[edit]

Dylan (Shannon Kook), Ben (Alex Ozerov), and Molly Simon (Zoé De Grand Maison) have decided to break into their school, which used to be a convent, to investigate the murders of two students, one of whom was Dan's grandson, that occurred in the school's basement the year before. Their friend, Caprice (Amy Forsyth), was supposed to go, but she instead has to go with her parents out of town. The three of them end up getting locked in the basement. Molly becomes possessed after witnessing a bloody ghost and tries to seduce Dylan. When he refuses her, Molly kills him. Molly successfully seduces Ben and after the act is finished, the ghost leaves Molly's body. Upon waking, Molly reveals that the ghost was actually a pregnant teenager who died when the school was a convent after the nuns gave her a gruesome abortion. The ghost is only interested in having someone give birth to her child and if they refuse, they're murdered – explaining last year's deaths. Despite impregnating Molly, the ghost sees Ben holding a weapon which is viewed as a threat, and the ghost kills him. The ghost then unlocks the door and allows Molly to leave.

Second story[edit]

Scott Peters (Adrian Holmes) is a police officer who worked the murder case of the two students the year before, but had to take a leave from the force due to the trauma of it. On Christmas Eve, much to his wife's reluctance, Scott convinces his family to go into woods owned by "Big Earl" (Alan C. Peterson) to chop down a Christmas tree for their house. During the trek, Scott's son Will (Orion John) wanders off and gets lost. He and his wife Kim (Oluniké Adeliyi) manage to find Will inside of a tree and are overjoyed to find him. This joy is short lived after Will begins to act strangely, culminating in Big Earl contacting the family to warn them that Will is actually a changeling. After the changeling kills Scott, Kim brings the changeling to Big Earl, who states that he's unable to help her find her son because it is up to the changelings. This ultimately ends with Kim shooting Big Earl, who was containing the changelings in the grove. Finally free, the changeling returns to his home and frees Will.

Third story[edit]

Caprice and her younger brother Duncan (Percy Hynes White) are traveling with their parents Taylor (Jeff Clark) and Diane (Michelle Nolden) to visit their elderly Aunt Edda (Corrine Conley). During their visit, Edda tells them about the mythological creature Krampus (Rob Archer), which frightens Caprice – especially after Duncan purposely destroys a Krampus figurine in an attempt to irritate Edda's caretaker, Gerhardt (Julian Richings). Their parents decide to take the children home at Edda's insistence, but on the way they get into a car accident, forcing them to walk. Aware that they were being hunted by Krampus because they acted badly, the family members take refuge in a church where they attempt to confess their sins in belief that Krampus will leave them if they do so. However, they are picked off one by one until only Caprice remains. Caprice manages to flee to Aunt Edda's house. She is successful in killing Krampus who transforms into Gerhardt. It's revealed that he transformed into Krampus due to his anger over the family's actions and that Edda was fully aware that this would happen. Furious, Caprice's anger causes her to transform into Krampus, and she attacks Edda.

Fourth story[edit]

While preparing for a busy Christmas, Santa Claus (George Buza) discovers that all of his elves and his wife have turned into zombies after one of the infected elves dies following a fit of rage. He manages to kill them all, but is then forced to fight against Krampus. However, right when he's about to kill Krampus it's revealed that "Santa" is actually a Mall Santa named Norman (who was the weather forecaster on Dangerous Dan's radio show) who had a psychotic break while working overtime that caused him to see regular mall goers as zombies during the Christmas Food Drive. The police arrive and manage to gun him down just as he goes to kill "Krampus", revealed to be the mall's manager, Mr. Taylor.

This is the disturbance at the mall that Dangerous Dan has been mentioning through his broadcast.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Directors for this film were Steven Hoban, who created the original idea, Grant Harvey (and Brett Sullivan, all of whom worked on the Ginger Snaps trilogy.[3]

The sound track was created by Alex Khaskin, and consisted of spooky adaptations of traditional Christmas music.[4] The film includes gory special effects.[5]


Reception[edit]

Jake Dee from Arrow in the Head rated the film a 5/10, calling its overlapping segments "uneven", and stating that only the final two segments managed to be memorable.[6] Brett Gallman from Oh, the Horror! offered similar criticism, stating that the film would have been better if its segments had played separately.[7]

Not all reviews of the film, however were negative. Brad Miska from Bloody Disgusting gave the film a positive review, writing, "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."[8] Jay Seaver from eFilmCritic gave the film 4/5 stars, calling it "a solidly-entertaining piece of work".[9]

See also[edit]

  • Krampus, a 2015 horror film that also features the Krampus folklore
  • Silent Night, a 2012 horror film that is centered around Christmas
  • Tales of Halloween, a 2015 horror anthology film that is also centered around a holiday
  • Trick 'r Treat, a 2007 anthology horror film that is also centered around a holiday

References[edit]

  1. ^ Collis, Clark. "Exclusive A Christmas Horror Story trailer promises shocks, scares, and Shatner". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  2. ^ Evry, Max. "A Christmas Horror Story Trailer: Krampus Comes to Town with a Vengeance". Shock Till You Drop. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  3. ^ "‘A Christmas Horror Story’ Dishes Out Four Helpings Of Yuletide Terror". Film Fracture, September 26, 2015 by James Jay Edwards
  4. ^ "A Christmas Horror Story (Movie Review)". Cryptic Rock, October 2, 2015, Tracy Allen
  5. ^ "A Christmas Horror Story (2015) Review". Horror Freak News, December 29, 2015, Michael Klug.
  6. ^ Dee, Jake. "A Christmas Horror Story (Movie Review)". Joblo.com. Jake Dee. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  7. ^ Gallman, Brett. "Horror Reviews - Christmas Horror Story, A (2015)". Oh the Horror.com. Brett Gallman. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  8. ^ Miska, Brad. "[Fantasia '15 Review] 'A Christmas Horror Story' Delivers Gory Gifts! - Bloody Disgusting". Bloody Disgusting.com. Brad Miska. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  9. ^ Seaver, Jay. "Movie Review - Christmas Horror Story, A - eFilmCritic". eFilmCritic.com. Jay Seaver. Retrieved 31 August 2018.

External links[edit]