From writer and director Mike McMurran comes Christmassacre, aka Secret Santa, not to be confused with the 2018 Christmas horror of the same name that we reviewed here.
That was a decent festive horror, this is not. Somehow being an absolute chore to get through, even though it is only 78-minutes long. It stars Annette Wozniak, Geoff Almond, and Keegan Chambers.
The lack of imagination, regardless of budget, is incredibly disappointing and that results in a story that is extremely basic. A group of friends have gathered during the festive season to exchange secret Santa gifts but are completely unaware that they are being targeted by a ski-mask wearing killer.
The only clue to their impending demise is that their gifts are from the killer and are the tools that will be used to end their lives. This isn’t a bad idea, but it’s done in a really basic way with very little imagination. One girl unwraps a cleaver, so is hacked to death with one later. Another unwraps a hair dryer, so the killer tries to electrify her in the bathtub. Although this does at least result in the semi-amusing scene of the plug not reaching, so the killer just beats her to death with it instead.
Yes, Christmassacre does have some comedy elements but struggles to raise many laughs.
Its biggest problem is that it’s so boring and nothing really happens up until its final 20 minutes. At least then, it does ramp up, but it’s still nothing special. The low budget does show up the gore effects, even if the film is brave enough to splash the red stuff about.
There’s a clear love of trashy slasher horror here, notable by the ‘Grindhouse’ effects that cover the visuals and if this had come out in a much earlier era, it would probably be passable. It didn’t, it came out in 2015, when this sort of stuff was beyond tired. Yes, it is a throwback to classic holiday horror and slasher films from the 1980s, but it’s not a good throwback.
Most will watch Christmassacre aka Secret Santa once, then promptly forget it ever existed.
The Final Score - 5/10