18th December 2018 (VOD Premiere)
Murderer gets caught after terrorizing and killing people during Christmas night for past 13 years in Norway. After being in solitary for almost 6 years, psychopath escapes couple days before Christmas night. Police tracks next target of the psychopath to be in small village in the northernmost part of Norway. Group of friends are having reunion in the same village and unexpectedly end up being in part of Santa's plan.
Julianne Aga, Pernille Baggeranas, Ida Malene Smith Bakke
Santa clearly thinks that I haven’t been very nice this year. That said, I don’t remember murdering kittens or pushing the elderly in front of traffic. Those are the only crimes that deserve a punishment as severe as reviewing Christmas Blood.
The film follows your classic slasher premise. A deranged killer breaks out of a mental asylum to continue his bloody rampage. Dressed in Santa garb, he goes about killing a bunch of attractive young ladies.
When you watch a VoD film called Christmas Blood, you have a very small set of expectations. You want a killer Santa to perform a series of goofy kills, and you want it to kick off within the opening 30 minutes. And yet Santa doesn’t arrive until an hour into the film.
Instead, writer/director Reinert Kiil decides to spend time ‘developing’ his characters. That’s like Christopher Nolan making a kitchen sink drama to highlight his ear for naturalistic dialogue.
The women in Kiil’s female ensemble are indistinguishable from one another, except for one key trait apiece. One woman doesn’t like drinking, one is mute, and another has a cheating boyfriend. They flick through tinder, do a lot of shots, and dance at random intervals. One of the women spends the entire movie in lingerie. You know, as women tend to do when they’re hanging out with their friends.
I imagine Kiil’s experiences with women come from a distance. Perhaps he saw one at a party once, or had a friend who like, totally got to touch a boob this one time and gave all the sordid details. No doubt his script is built around tales of such ribaldry.
The film aims for a slowly mounting sense of dread. Instead, it’s a meandering bore. Pretty soon you’re tapping your foot, waiting for the goddamn homicidal Santa that was promised. But once the killing starts, the sheer grossness outweighs any visceral thrills.
The violence in Christmas Blood is so joyless, so utterly cruel and debasing, that it makes me wonder if I was wrong to ever enjoy slasher movies. Slasher gore can be fun and inventive, but Christmas Blood has nothing to offer but pure misogynistic sadism. One particularly stomach churning scene involves a woman taking an axe to the crotch directly after being raped.
Kiil is totally disinterested in making us emotionally invested in these women. We don’t worry about them, and we don’t care about them. There’s just the revulsion of seeing women’s bodies brutalized on a level that far outmatches their male counterparts. At first, I thought Benjamin Mosli’s murky cinematography was some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Now I suspect he felt an ethical duty to obscure as much of the sickening violence as possible.
I’m typically a Christmas cynic but I have a sudden craving for feel-good Christmas movies after watching this misogynistic trash. I’m like Ebenezer Scrooge at the end of A Christmas Carol, but instead of being visited by three ghosts, I had to watch someone puke on a woman’s disemboweled corpse.
As Tiny Tim once said, God bless us, every one. Especially those who have the misfortune of watching Christmas Blood.
The dim cinematography that obscures the horrific violence
The wafer-thin characters
Deathly dull pacing