It's less trashy than Silent Night Deadly Night, less influential than
Black Christmas, and less sleazy than Don't Open 'Til Christmas, but
You Better Watch Out (AKA Christmas Evil) is certainly no less worthy
of your time if you dig seasonal horrors.
In fact, it fully deserves to have something of a cult following thanks to its quirky sense of humour, and a wonderful turn by Brandon Maggart as crazy Harry Stadling, who as a child, spotted his mommy doing more than just kissing Santa Clause, and who now takes Christmas a little too seriously, deciding for himself who has been naughty and nice, and dealing with them accordingly.
With such fun scenes as Harry (in full Father Christmas costume) dancing his heart out at a Christmas party, getting stuck in a chimney, and imagining his van is being pulled by reindeer, plus a police identity line-up consisting of a motley looking collection of Santas, You Better Watch Out might be more amusing than horrific, but it is still very twisted at times; certainly what little graphic violence is shown is surprisingly nasty, such as when Harry attacks a group of church-goers, poking an eye out with a toy soldier and then axing a couple of guys in the head.
As Harry's murderous rampage continues, and local people begin to eye anyone in a Santa costume with suspicion, it's not long before our jolly psycho is confronted by an angry mob, who chase him down the streets with flaming torches (in an homage to Universal's Frankenstein, perhaps). Finally, Harry winds up driving his van (which is painted to look like a sled) off a bridge; however, rather than plummeting to his doom, his vehicle flies off into the night sky (presumably showing us what is going through Harry's mind in his final moments).
It's a suitably surreal ending to an enjoyably off-the-wall entry in the Christmas horror sub-genre.
6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.
Horror / Thriller
Horror / Thriller
Widely recognized as the best of the Christmas horror efforts, Christmas Evil is the story of a boy who loves Christmas. He is scarred as a boy when he learns that Santa is not real. Throughout the rest of his life, the toy-maker tries to make the Christmas spirit a reality. He becomes obsessed with the behavior of children and the quality of the toys he makes. When he is met with hypocrisy and cynicism, the resulting snap causes him to go on a yuletide killing spree to complete this dark comedic horror.
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December 25, 2014 at 11:39 PM