Christmas Cruelty! – Norway, 2013

Christmas Cruelty! – original title: O’Hellige Jul! [“Oh Holy Christmas!”] – is a 2013 Norwegian dark comedy horror feature film directed by Per-Ingvar Tomren and Magne Steinsvoll from a screenplay co-written with Eline Aasheim, Janne Iren Holseter and Anita Nyhagen. The movie stars Eline Asssheim, Tormond Lien and Magne Steinsvill.

Plot:

We follow a serial killer and his victims as they all prepare for Christmas in their own ways. This year it doesn’t matter if you have been naughty or nice, Santa is coming to town no matter what, and he knows where you live…

Reviews:

The movie was filmed by first-time directors Per-Ingvar Tomren and Magne Steinsland, and featured a cast of amateur actors . . . but what the film lacks in polish, it makes up in buckets of blood and truly messed up situations (and dark humor).” Fansided

“With an extreme level of festive sadism, Christmas Cruelty is no John Lewis ad. Its depravity won’t be for everyone, but if you’ve got the stomach for it, O’Hellige Jul! is a nasty little Christmas gift to genre fans that I thoroughly recommend you unwrap as soon as you can.” UK Horror Scene

“This unique slice of Norwegian cruelty combines holiday levity with extreme brutality like no other movie I’ve seen. One moment you are watching a silly and laid-back slacker comedy, the next scene has a killer do things like power-saw a baby to death with happy holiday music in the background.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

 

Cast and characters:

  • Eline Aasheim … Eline
  • Tormod Lien … Serial-Santa
  • Magne Steinsvoll … Magne
  • Per-Ingvar Tomren … Per-Ingvar
  • Raymond Talberg … Boybandreka
  • Nina-Shanett Arntsen … Daughter
  • Tone Søyset Døving … Victim #1
  • Jørgen Torp … Victim #2
  • Eiric Lien … Victim #3
  • Ranja Hjelvik … Victim #4
  • Vilde Reiten Gommesen … Victim #5
  • Thomas Utgård … Thomas
  • Solveig Sahr Bergheim … Solveig
  • Frans Hulsker … Christmas tree salesman
  • Olav Kåre Torjuul … Chainsaw salesman
  • Mats Nerli … Mats
  • Irene Anita Holsether … Wife
  • Torgeir Marvin Utgård … Torgeir
  • Martinus Ersvik … Martinus

More Norwegian horror

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Papercraft Horror Game ‘Phantom Halls’ is Getting a Big Free Festive Update [Exclusive]

Phantom Halls turned out to be one of our favorite games of 2018 thanks to its affectionate ribbing of B-Movie horror sensibilities (oh, and Ash from Evil Dead 2 is a DLC character. That helped too) so more of it is always welcome.

So good tidings to its developer Incedium Games for revealing to us exclusively that Phantom Halls is getting a significant free festive update on Christmas Eve. Bringing fresh fun and fear to the game’s haunted houses.

The update will include not only a Christmas-theme addition to the game, but also one for Chinese New Year. Both will feature new quests and new enemy types designed with the related holiday in mind. All for the great big price of nada.

As well as these big themed updates, there will be an expansion to the meta-game, with achievements and improved game stats being added.

Phantom Hall‘s creative director Llexi Leon gave us a brief description of what’s happening in the story of the festive update.

“Join Santa for a flesh-eating feast this Christmas! After a nightmare mishap just days before the holidays, the elves were forced to reanimate Santa in the Phantom Halls laboratory. Driven to madness by the horror they unleashed, Santa and his elves roam the mansion, devouring anything that crosses their path… 
 
“Following on from our Thanksgiving update and the blight of biohazard Turkeys, our festive holiday update includes new Christmas and Chinese New Year themed missions, in addition to a long-awaited Achievement system, building on the statistics screen and rewarding our community for their monster-slaying abilities. How many ghosts have you busted, skulls cracked, zombies splattered? We’re making a list, and checking it twice! Good luck in there.”
The game will also be a part of the Steam Winter Sale, with 25% slashed off the usual asking price when the sale starts on December 20th.
Should you need extra convincing, then read our review of Phantom Halls on PC -to find out why we like it so much.

Killer Christmas – USA, 2017

‘Whisper what you’ll bring to me…’

Killer Christmas is a 2017 American slasher horror feature film written, directed by and starring PeterPaul Shaker and Tony Shaker. The Shaker Productions movie also stars Malcolm Xavier and Freya Lund.

Plot:

Six friends explore an abandoned hotel near a Christmas tree lot only to find themselves being murdered one-by-one by someone in a Santa mask…

Reviews:

Killer Christmas is not a well-lit film leaving you feeling like you’re watching a found-footage horror. Ultimately, Killer Christmas doesn’t have an original bone in its body & the Christmas theme is stretched out. Decent acting can’t make up for a bland plot, poor pacing & a disappointing killer reveal.” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life

“Despite some positives aspects, the scary Santa mask doesn’t quite help elevate the freshman effort from co-writing and co-directing team PeterPaul and Tony Shaker. Ultimately, it suffers from slow pacing and minimal bloodshed.” The Movie Sleuth

” …another seasonal cash-in wherein a bunch of yoots get terrorised by some dick head in a Santa outfit as they mope about an abandoned hotel  […] there is a twist that is as mad as a bunch of elves, and which either explains the set up or confuses it further; I’m not completely sure, and I’m not convinced the filmmakers were either. Ho ho ho? No no no.” The Movie Waffler

“I’m usually OK when a film has a slow build up (Hereditary is a good example), but ultimately something has to happen to make the trek worthwhile. Unfortunately, with this film, it’s an uneventful slow road to nowhere.” The Other View

“The brat kids drank, said “fuck”, smoked dope, made wise-cracks about hobos, and said “fuck” some more. The girls were constantly complaining and complaining again…about everything. It was dark and after what seemed like an eternity, I was praying for someone to die.” Ruthless Reviews

Cast and characters:

  • Malcolm Xavier … Art
  • Freya Lund … Margo
  • PeterPaul Shaker … Rudolph
  • Sherry Shaker … Tree Farm Patron
  • Natalie Pavelek … Kate
  • Tony Shaker … Robbie
  • Kourtney Kelly … Bella
  • Max Hoover … Farmhand 3
  • Patty Johnstone … Café Patron
  • Matt Maretz … Cutler
  • Connor Pavao … Kid by Campfire
  • Juan David Pinzon … Café Patron
  • Eui Song Kim … Café Patron
  • Matt Emert … Dad 1
  • Hanley Smith … Daisy

Technical credits:

84 minutes | 16:9 HD

Reported budget:

$50,000

Trivia:

The working title was First Cut: Santa’s Mask

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Humbug – short, USA, 2016

‘Get in the Christmas spirit, or else…’

Humbug is a 2016 American comedy horror short film directed by Matt Thieson and Justin Lee from a script by Milly Sanders. The SiniSisters Productions movie stars Jessee Foundray and the aforementioned Milly Sanders.

Plot:

When her neighbour refuses to get into the Christmas spirit, a jolly citizen takes matters into her own hands…

Reviews:

Humbug is a fun short, one with an original idea that is played for cheesy laughs but doesn’t skimp on the gore & bad language. Scarlet & Betty are polar opposites but play off each other well, the Christmas references making Betty seem way more unhinged then she actually is.” Games, Brrraaains & A Head-Banging Life

“Minimal special effects, but pretty well done. Score and sound are on point. If you truly hate Christmas, you may not like how this ends. If you like Christmas, then maybe you won’t like how it ends, either.” Horror News

“A wonderfully dark and macabre Christmas-themed comedy, based on a humour that’s just silly enough to not drift off into the moronic and a story that really sets its surprises when one least expects them, and carried by a directorial effort high on Christmas camp…” Search My Trash

Running time:

7 minutes

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Christmas Slay – UK, 2015

”Tis the season to be dead’

Christmas Slay is a 2015 British horror feature film written and directed by Steve Davis (Outbreak of the Dead; The Screaming Woods; Christmas Presence). The Invicta Pictures-Kent Independent Film production stars Jessica Ann Binner, Frank Jakeman, Dani Thompson and Charley McDougall.

Plot:

On a wintry Christmas Eve in the picturesque Kentish countryside, a loving family is horrifically murdered and a Santa Claus obsessed bloodthirsty killer is captured.

The following year, a group of college girlfriends decide to get away from it all and relax and party over the Christmas holiday. They decide to escape to the idyllic Mistletoe Lodge nestled within the beautiful snowy mountains of the Scottish Highlands, what starts off as the perfect festive getaway of fun in the snow and a glass of eggnog or two, suddenly descends into a gruesome bloodbath of terror and a fight for survival…

Reviews:

“The actresses seem to have been picked for their looks rather than talent because some of them are incredibly wooden, although at least Dani Thompson looks like a proper scream queen. Eventually the psycho Santa shows up and there’s some really cheesy gore bits, although they forgot to dub in wound noises so the deaths are oddly silent.” Leofwine_draca

“The slasher ideals are all there, but most of the film is just cleavage-leaning ladies in short-pajama-shorts and tank tops chatting about – then some slashing at the end for good measure. Egregious sound design, fine enough action, but the horror aspects that matter are all fairly hackish.” Matt Donato, Letterboxd

“The film features that fun staple of slashers, a gory prologue, and like its genre brethren, there’s nice eye candy and the performances are all over the map (though Frank Jakeman cuts an imposing figure as the sadistic Saint Nick).” Really Awful Movies

” …the only difference from our other cinematic tortures is the ineptness comes at us with charming British accents […] You have to wonder what writer-director Steve Davis has going on in that (egg)noggin of his. Stalk-and-slash movies don’t require the highest level of brain function, but some basic logic does apply.” Video Junkie

Cast and characters:

  • Dani Thompson … Beccy – Devil in the WoodsHarvest of the Dead: Halloween Night; Cute Little Buggers; My Bloody Banjo; Serial Kaller; et al
  • Paul Terry … Detective Sergeant Holden
  • Laura Ellen Wilson … Chloe (as Lolliella Wilson)
  • Lydia Kay … Sarah
  • Martin W. Payne … Doctor Jones
  • Steve Davis … Ryan
  • Frank Jakeman … Simon Carter / Santa – Shed of the Dead
  • Jessica Ann Brownlie … Emma (as Jessica Ann Bonner)
  • Gary J.J. Spate … Caretaker (as Gary Spate)
  • Antony D. Lane … Pyjama Patient
  • Natalie Bailey-Trist … Nurse Temple
  • Charley McDougall … John
  • Tony Burden … PC Bob
  • Hannah Brown … Sergeant Katie Holmes
  • Matt Collins … Edward Williams
  • Dominic Pillai … Radio News Broadcaster (voice)
  • Sadie Ingoldby … Police Dispatch (voice)
  • Tony Mole … PC James
  • Danny Allen … Backpacker
  • Chris Kennedy … Evil Asylum Guard
  • Kerrie Bridger … Maria Williams
  • India Rand … Rosie Williams
  • Stuart Lawson … Paul

Filming locations:

Borovetz, Bulgaria
Kent, England

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Do You See What I See? – short, Canada, 2016

Do You See What I See? is a 2016 Canadian horror short film written and directed by Justin McConnell (Lifechanger; The Collapsed; producer of Galaxy of HorrorsMinutes Past Midnight) and Serena Whitney (producer of Mark of Kane). The movie stars Caleigh Le Grand, Jorja Cadence and Adam Buller.

Plot:

During the Christmas season, two sisters throw a house party, unaware that a deadly invader will be crashing the proceedings…

Reviews:

“McConnell and Whitney let the horror material enter the picture relatively slowly rather than just flipping a switch, which works out fairly well, and do allow things to get enjoyably messy along the way. This does mean that they don’t get a whole lot of time to play with the horror premise; even if it’s not quite a movie-ending twist, it still seems like a bit of a waste that they don’t get to do more.” Jay’s Movie Blog

Cast and characters:

  • Caleigh Le Grand … Sloan
  • Jorja Cadence … Jessica
  • Adam Buller … Chris
  • Emmanuel Whitney-Alexander … Jimmy
  • Elliot Dawson-Clark … Man in Mask
  • Aaron Malcolm … Kyle
  • Annie Carter … Val
  • Eastern Yoo … John
  • Natasha Henderson … Tasha
  • Graham Robinson … Frank
  • Greg Sommer … Skull Man
  • Steven Landry … Tallboy
  • Madison Wilson … Party Extra
  • Christina Sit Yee … Party Extra
  • Kirk Haviland … Party Extra

Technical credits:

14 minutes | 2.35: 1 | Dolby Digital

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Dead End – France, 2003

Dead End is a 2003 French horror feature film written and directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea and Fabrice Canepa. The Sagittaire Films-Captain Movies production stars Ray WiseLin Shaye, Mick Cain and Alexandra Holden.

Plot:

When a family en route to a Christmas Eve gathering decides to takes a shortcut down a wooded road, an eerie sequence of events signals trouble ahead. After nearly colliding with an oncoming car, father Frank (Ray Wise) picks up a ghostly hitchhiker (Amber Smith) and her infant child.

With the sudden appearance of their new passengers, the route becomes dark and treacherous — and the family’s numbers rapidly begin to dwindle in a series of seemingly connected, grisly roadside accidents…

Reviews:

“Great setting, good tension, creepy atmosphere, funny at times, minimal gore, good acting, and a nice ending.” Almost Fabulous

“There’s just nothing here to like at all. They bicker, there’s a lead up with no pay off, they bicker, there’s a lead up with no pay off, and so on. For a movie about people driving in circles, they sure do lead us in with them with no pay-off. There are sudden scares, ridiculous plot devices and really badly done scenes that all led up to the “shocking” finale that was just so utterly predictable.” Cinema Crazed

“Budget constraints probably forced their hand more than they would have wanted but the lack of budget has helped the duo bring out the best of a bad situation. Well-shot, with plenty of tension and lots of lurking menace, Dead End gives off a spooky vibe as soon as the proverbial hits the fan when the family are grounded along the road.” Popcorn Pictures

“Ray Wise brings charisma and cynicism as the head of the family, while Lin Shaye is a perfect foil who happens upon a moment of total insanity in the film which is delivered with jaw-dropping perfection. Dead End is a movie that comes highly recommended.” The Schlock Pit

“Playing out like an episode of Twilight ZoneDead End has a lot of good things going for it as it gets strong performances from its cast (Shaye is especially good and in scenes where she’s gone completely nutty her performance slips into agreeable camp and demented humour), has plenty of wacko set pieces…” The Video Graveyard

Cast and characters:

  • Ray Wise … Frank Harrington
  • Lin Shaye … Laura Harrington
  • Mick Cain … Richard Harrington
  • Alexandra Holden … Marion Harrington
  • William Rosenfeld … Brad Miller (as Billy Asher)
  • Amber Smith … Lady in White
  • Karen S. Gregan … Doctor
  • Sharon Madden … Nurse
  • Steve Valentine … Man in Black
  • Jimmie F. Skaggs … Worker #1 (as Jimmy Skaggs)
  • Clement Blake … Worker #2

Technical credits:

85 minutes | 1.85:1

More French horror

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The Grot in the Grotto – short, UK, 2016

The Grot in the Grotto is a 2016 British comedy horror short film directed by James William Roberts from a script by James Hamilton.

Plot:

Where do department store Santas really come from? Meet the sinister organisation responsible for making sure there’s one in every grotto this Christmas…

Cast and characters:

  • David Arrondelle … Christmas Elf
  • Luke Booys … Christmas Elf
  • Greg Cranness … Homeless Man
  • James Hamilton … Walter Crust
  • Alex Whyman … Christmas Elf

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[REVIEW] ‘All The Creatures Were Stirring’ Brings Out The Eerie Holiday Spirit.

The holiday season is upon us. A time for Christmas lights, decorations, gifts, evergreens in our homes. Colder nights, festive parties, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, or is it? On the outside the holiday season appears to be wonderful, however, behind this façade lurks loneliness, darkness, and evil. People tend to go […]

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All The Creatures Were Stirring (2018)

All The Creatures Were Stirring (2018)

Starring Constance Wu, Amanda Fuller, Jonathan Kite, and Ashley Clements

Well hello there, long time no see. Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas, and welcome to the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the season for giving, or here at ScareTissue, it’s the season for screaming. Yes, us horror fanatics are at it all year, even during the holidays. What better way to mix holiday cheer and dread with the new film “All The Creatures Were Stirring” written and directed by Rebekah & David Ian McKendry.

Wow! This film is one of those beloved horror anthologies, but told in a creative and really unique way. I don’t want to give too much away as to how all these stories tie in together, but trust me, you don’t want to miss it. Do you hate your office Christmas Party? There is something for you in this film. Do you wait till Christmas Eve to get your shopping done? Maybe you shouldn’t this year. Want to be alone on the holidays? Nah, not happening for you. Are you a Grinch that likes to drunk dial random people on your phone? You’re an ass!

I hope you enjoy this film as much as I did. I just want to spread a little holiday fear into your life, so do yourself a favor and curl up with your favorite blanket, make a cup of hot chocolate, and enjoy.

This film is now available on DVD, On Demand and Digital Video. It will also be premiering on Shudder on December 13th! So have at it, you filthy animal.

And if you are interested in indulging yourself with some more wonderful Christmas horror, check out my list HERE.

TheWeevilDead