Review – Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022)

What’s not to love about Christmas? There are extra long queues at the shops, endless presents to wrap, and a robotic Santa on a killing spree…

Joe Begos’s Christmas Bloody Christmas takes frosty frights to a whole new level, with Shudder’s latest hit generating immense hype and smashing reviews. 

Begos seasonal slash fest delivers gory, over-the-top mayhem infused with just enough sarcasm and satire without being ridiculous. The savage, absurd atmosphere is very much owed to the film’s awareness of its own ludicrous story, akin to Josh Ruben’s Scare Me (2020), which similarly thrived in a sense of horrific hilarity. Many comparisons could be made to Christmas Bloody Christmas, whether that’s to fellow Shudder releases, or to classic yuletide horror flicks, yet, there is a restorative sense of ‘newness’ that is crucial in the film’s success. This air of imagination that breathes in wicked vibrancy to festive horror is the film’s heavy stylization, most of which is founded in the neon-inspired lighting, which paints a slick glow across the gory kills; most of which focuses on Santa’s swinging axe.

In lieu of this buzzing aesthetic, Christmas Bloody Christmas also breaks down the barriers of traditional character dynamics. Yes, there is a fair amount of characters simply existing as movie meat, but the lead protagonist Tori (Riley Dandy), is an epic badass who refuses to fit into the archetypal final girl role. 

The film is almost a spiritual resident within the Troma Entertainments hall of fame. It just has that gritty, frenzied essence that focuses on the amusement factor and makes the most of its seasonal background to create a memorable and noteworthy addition to a longline of classic Christmas horrors. 

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