Christmas Blood tries to emulate the most memorable parts of other, much better films, but it ends up being nothing more than a lazy, scare-free, and (literally) dark slasher flick. If you’re planning on seeing it, ho-ho-hold on a minute and let me tell you why you should change those plans.
The premise of Christmas Blood is as follows: A man dressed as Santa Claus murders people around Christmas, gets caught, imprisoned, and analyzed by a psychiatrist who comes to believe the man isn’t crazy, but evil incarnate. Years later, Saint Nick escapes for another killing spree around the Holidays.
While most of that makes Christmas Blood sound like a generic Christmas-themed horror film, I think it gets most of its ideas (or just copies them) from the Halloween franchise. If you swap out December with October and the Santa outfit with a blue jumpsuit and William Shatner mask, you’d end up with a poor man’s Michael Myers. The lack of originality is about as apparent as can be. I tend to get annoyed when an average slasher has too much in common with a better one because the comparisons end up running through my head ruining the immersion, but watching a bad slasher trying to imitate one of the all-time best (and fail miserably) is even more frustrating.
To make matters worse, Christmas Blood is about as scary as Frosty the Snowman. The film spends almost an hour (and it feels much longer than that) getting to the “scares,” and falls flat at each opportunity. Not even the countless attempted jump scares had any success because they were so predictable.
Another issue plaguing Christmas Blood is the terrible lighting. The opening is a strong example, as the majority of it might as well have been a black screen. Everything was obscured by overwhelming darkness. My TV’s brightness was turned up quite high, and even then only the occasional humanoid shape was visible. Some scenes have vastly better lighting, but many are so dimly lit that it’s difficult to make out what’s happening without maximizing the screens brightness.
Finally, we have the writing. The story is weak, most of the dialogue is mediocre at best, and the characters are so bad and/or cliché it almost hurts. There’s the world-weary ex-cop whose experience with Santa before the events of the movie changed him forever, the young, sleep-deprived detective tasked with finding Santa after his escape, the heroine who’s struggling with a recent tragedy, the asshole friend with zero redeeming qualities, and a slew of superfluous supporting characters that are just as one-note as the core cast. I was praying for Santa to rack up the body count as soon as possible so I wouldn’t have to spend anymore time will such dull, uninteresting characters.
The verdict: Christmas Blood isn’t worth your time. It’s lame, frustrating, and hard to watch because it’s either too boring or too dark. I know there’s slim pickings for Holiday horror flicks, but I assure you it won’t be hard to find something far better this season.