review by Bobby Blakey
The horror genre is one that sadly produces some of the worst films out there, but at the same time offer up the most enjoyment both good and bad. Its hard to find anything all that original anymore, so going into these sorts of films becomes more about how they handle the subject matter. The latest Red Christmas already has horror icon Dee Wallace starring, but does it have anything beyond that or will it be a holiday not worth celebrating?
Red Christmas follows Diane, who brings together her estranged family for a chaotic holiday gathering. A 20 year old decision literally comes back to haunt her when the ghost of Christmas past comes knocking at her door and is invited inside the family estate. Diane must face her past and explain the hideous truth that is trying to kill them all, especially to Jerry, her Down Syndrome son, before it's too late. Before going into this film you have to know it is a lower budget film, but to my surprise works way better than I had expected. It is far from a good film, but offers up everything expected in a horror film. The cast are a bit annoying outside of Wallace with each of them offering up a mixed bag of good and pretty bad moments. All of them are playing pretty clichéd characters making for a set up where you really can’t wait for most of them to get killed.
There are some elements featuring the killer that are a bit of a waste of time and really only serve to show you that he is crazed, but might have worked better to not reveal that so early on. The look of the character alone didn’t work for me mostly because it instantly gives off a look of suspicious and evil hence making it make no sense for them to let him in their house. The twist on the story is great, but sadly pretty spoiled from the outset of the film making the impact of it all less effective.
Had they had the budget or been able to make for more graphic kills it might have saved this film from itself, but they did a decent job with what they had. There are just so many decisions that make no sense and directions that are frustrating that it makes this film one that will likely not connect with anyone other than the most hardcore horror fan who will watch anything.