A Christmas Horror Story (2015)


REVIEWER RATING: 
7/10
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Good horror anthologies are generally hard to come by especially if they're seasonally themed, so I wasn't sure what to expect from A Christmas Horror Story. Luckily the movie turned out to be surprisingly entertaining, gory, and at times even creepy. And for once there's no generic wraparound or cheesy host introducing each segment. Instead, the movie takes a more Trick 'r Treat-esque approach and has each story loosely linked together. The film goes back and forth from the individual tales, giving each enough time to develop and effectively keep the pace going by not focusing too long on a single one.

So the movie opens up to William Shatner as a disc jockey for a local radio station, who properly sets the Christmas mood before it transitions and introduces us to the start of each segment. There are four tales in total: a small group of high school students documenting some kind of quasi news report about murders that took place at a school's basement only to be haunted by a malevolent spirit; another story about a family chopping down a Christmas tree from someone's private property and discovering that the young boy they brought back home with them may not be their son at all; another family that's naughty enough to have Krampus (a buff demonic anti-Santa) hunt them down; and lastly we have a story that has a badass epic Santa battling a horde of zombie elves!

As expected with most (if not all) anthologies, there's always at least one weak segment in the bunch. In this case that would be the one involving the students in the basement--it's all taken place in one location and it has some pacing issues. Though it did have a couple creepy moments, so it wasn't entirely bad. In fact, if the tales weren't creeping us out, they were delivering some nice action and gore, namely in the awesome Santa segment. Though I have to say the creepiest story would have to be about the family returning home with something other than their son. There are some legit creepy and really well shot scenes in that one.

The production values were above average and the makeup and practical effects weren't bad at all, specifically for some of the gore. I don't know if it's because I went in with low expectations or what, but I had a lot of fun with this. I mean, the movie may not be as entertaining or creative as Trick 'r Treat, but it's damn near the closest we've ever gotten.

Much like what Trick 'r Treat did for Halloween, A Christmas Horror Story does for, well, Christmas. Although not as strong as Treat was, it still managed to offer some nice thrills, chills, and laughter in a nicely packaged Winter setting and I can see myself possibly revisiting it for years to come. Give this baby a look, especially if you like anthologies.
OVERALL: 
Much like what Trick 'r Treat did for Halloween, A Christmas Horror Story does for, well, Christmas. Although not as strong as Treat was, it still managed to offer some nice thrills, chills, and laughter in a nicely packaged Winter setting and I can see myself possibly revisiting it for years to come. Give this baby a look, especially if you like anthologies.