“Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open” well, slay. Duh.
This was another suggestion by Erik S. that I am ever so thankful for. It’s by no means great, but man is A Christmas Horror Story a fun anthology that chronicles the holiday terror befalling the town of Bailey Downs.
Yes, true believers, you read that correctly. Bailey Downs. Turns out lots of folks involved with this movie were also involved in the Ginger Snaps series (as well as Orphan Black). But I digress.
Most anthology films will move from one standalone story to the next with all the stories connected by one location, individual, etc. Think Tales From The Crypt, Vault Of Horror, Creepshow, Dr. Terror’s House Of Horrors, etc.
Instead, the episodes in A Christmas Horror Story are interspersed among each other and very lightly connected by plot details. We keep bouncing around all the individual storylines. It’s a clever idea. Maybe Dead Of Night laid some groundwork for this, and Asylum possibly played around with it a bit, but those are really the only two I can think of.
So what kinds of prezzies do we have under our gruesome tree? Well, the wraparound story is priceless. Despite a well-respected recommendation, y’see, I was ready to write this one off. That is until I saw those two magical words: William Shatner. Yep. As the local DJ, Dangerous Dan, he’s the icing that holds this whole gingerbread house together.
And a sick little gingerbread house it is. First, there’s a boarding school that was once a home for unwed mothers. The ghost haunting the place was a girl who died from a botched abortion. Three high school friends sneak in to record their own ghost-hunting kind of show. That always goes well.
Next a family heads out for a christmas tree. Along with it, they bring home a changeling. Oopsies.
Another family goes to visit an elderly aunt then comes face to face with Krampus. Like ya do.
But the biggest highlight after Shatner is the Santa story. It’s hilarious in its pitch black way and has a great twist that I won’t ruin. But I will give you two words: zombie elves. Trust me–that is not a spoiler.
Finally, for the eerie star atop this bizarro tannenbaum, hearken unto these prescient words from Dangerous Dan back in 2015: “The best thing you can do is just stay put. And pray for a christmas miracle…Just stay at home. For the love of god.”
Yeah. Stay at home. True in horror, true in the pandemic.
And there you have it, A Christmas Horror Story. Bleak. Twisted.
Just like christmas.