“You’re like the Christmas version of the Wishmaster”
Considering my disdain for home-movie/found-footage/vlog horror movies, naturally a low-budget Christmas horror in the former’s style would be about as appealing as a candy cane jammed in the eye.
However, in a nice surprise, Dead Christmas (also known as Red Christmas) is entertaining and charming. Mainly thanks to the performance of Amie Wrenn.
She plays Tara, a serial killer who likes to murder men around the holiday time. This year she has decided to record her antics so if she is ever caught, she can become infamous. She introduces herself to the camera like a million other vloggers before dropping in that she’s also a psychopath and a serial killer.
It’s funny as her overly energetic and gleeful declaration, back-story and methods are detailed making it clear that she is every bit the psychopath she says she is. Then, over an hour we follow along with her as she picks her victim, gets him back to her house and sets about violently torturing him.
She’s very watchable but also very cruel. Each piece of abuse she mets out having some link to the holidays. Her victim, Bill (Seth Gontkovic) is given paper-cuts with wrapping paper, waterboarded with eggnog and force-fed fruitcake with glass in it. The latter coming after he has been forced to take part in a Christmas quiz.
It’s as zany as it sounds. However, it’s a shame rather then just make Tara a no-motive insane killer, it feels the need to constantly have her talk about her abusive/absentee father. It doesn’t work to make her sympathetic as elsewhere she is so cruel and callous. Instead the attempt to humanise just feels forced, unnecessary and worst of all…filler.
She’s sadistic and you only need to reach the events of the finale to really understand that. There’s no sympathy to be found here when she is fucking a dead body to the music of Silent Night. If that makes you feel uncomfortable, well, it’s not a quick scene. The word that comes to mind is gratuitous even if there is no nudity at all.
Perhaps the worst thing about the film though are the effects. The less said about them, the better. It might be bloody but it often looks incredibly fake.
Overall though, Dead Christmas is a good movie. Short, to the point (mostly) and with a lead who really puts her all into it. It’s tasteless and pulls very few punches but that just makes it stand out all the more even if lines like “I really only cum this hard when I’m fucking a corpse” will put many people off.
The Final Score - 6/10