Horror Short Review: Claus (2019)

Written, directed, produced and edited by Vinne Pagano, Claus opens by focusing on a woman named Janice (Aruna Evan) sitting on a couch as she calls out to her partner (credited as Babe and played by Vinnie Pagano himself) in another room. She wants to know if he is still mad with her and he replies that he’s not.

Scanning the living room, she notices the automated Santa toy they have is broken as its candle light has gone out. She goes to check it and is surprised to hear it talk. In an eerie and deep voice, it proclaims that “he is going to kill you”. She switches it off and the voice repeats the same warning.

She is perturbed so goes to get a new bulb for the toy in the basement where the voice’s warning replays in her head and she sees a hammer. Her discomfort is heightened when her partner calls down from the top of the stairs and informs her that they’re effectively snowed in. It’s a great shot as from her position at the bottom of the stairs, he looks particular menacing framed in darkness in the doorway.

She apologies for whatever took place yesterday between them and he asks her to come up the stairs so he can give her something. She slowly makes her way up, hammer in hand.

Will Claus’ warning be enough?

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Delightfully twisted, this is an excellent short that burns with a creepy vibe and pays off in predictable but still thoroughly enjoyable style. It could probably be a little more Christmassy as it lacks the colour that the season often brings. However for story alone and the short 2:45 runtime, it’s a classy short.

Claus (2019)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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