It’s no secret how violent, dark, and deeply disturbing are the origins of some of our most cherished stories and traditions. Just have a quick read through The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen. So are some of the traditions associated with Santa Claus: Krampus, Zwarte Piet, The Whip Father, even Sinterklaas have traditions of punishment of evil children.
Such is the background Sint (aka Saint and Saint Nick) takes its story from. On December 5, 1492, under a full moon, the one-time bishop, Niklas, ravages a portside village with his thugs. The villagers have had enough of this and retaliate by setting the bishop’s ship on fire, killing him and his crew. The violent nature of their deaths, however, is apparently enough to have them return in ghostly form whenever there is a full moon on December 5.
It’s not a bad premise and a little reminiscent of John Carpenter’s criminally underrated movie The Fog. The main characters are Goert and Frank. Goert survived one of these attacks in 1968 and grew up to become a police officer. He’s wary and paranoid and tries to convince his chief that there will be attacks again this year (kind of a Dutch Dr. Loomis). Meanwhile, high school student Frank and his two friends are attacked while on their way to a party. Frank survives only to be accused of their murders.
Not much new there.
I really don’t have much else to say about Sint (aka Saint Nick, Saint). It’s fine so far as it goes. The Zwarte Pieten look less like Renaissance fair rejects and more like cheap knockoffs of Barbosa’s undead crew in Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl. There’s the violence and gore one would expect, but it’s pretty run-of-the-mill.
Ultimately, there’s not much going on in terms of novel or even interesting ground. I mean, does it succeed in being the movie it wanted to be? I dunno. Maybe? The problem is, the answer to that question should be clearer. Even the violence and gore one would expect remains pretty run-of-the-mill.
It’s worth pointing that I first saw this on DVD with subtitles. In the name of all that is unholy, watch the DVD version if you’re gonna give this movie a shot. Sadly, the only version streaming currently that I’ve been able to find is English dubbed. The voice acting is wooden and becomes more distracting than anything else.
And that’s about all I’ve got. Fairly underwhelming stuff here I’m afraid. Oh well. Can’t have everything.