Nutcracker Massacre - A Silent Fright, Holy Fright Chrismassy Review
Director: Becca Hirani
Starring: Patrick Bergin, Beatrice Fletcher, Christophe Monplaisir, Julie Stevens, Andy Dixon
Written by: Joe Knetter, Jeff Miller
Produced by: Becca Hirani
Cinematography by: Ross Yeandle
Original Score by: James Cox
A novelist visits her family for Christmas and finds a mysterious Nutcracker doll, which soon becomes possessed and wreaks havoc
If you’ve been reading the Fright Club Christmas reviews, you know that holiday horror is hard to do. I’ve reviewed the two 'Jack Frost' films in the past and honestly felt violated after watching them. It seems so easy to make a Christmas horror film, if you just have a bit of an interesting hook. 'Gremlins' for example, a great film in its own right but elevated by the fact that it’s based around Christmas. Families are all at home, around the fire, feeling safe until they’re invaded by those damn Gremlins. Even throwing it back to 'Black Christmas' (1974), a more realistic horror as a stalker kills girls in a sorority house. It doesn’t lean into the holiday aspects that much but it gives it a good reason for people to be all in one location.
Nowadays there are 100’s of ultra-low budget horror films littered around Amazon or Tubi. Watching the trailers for these films will always show how horrible the production is, from bad acting, dreadful lighting and rubbery shop-bought masks. The only thing they are hoping will grab the attention of the viewer is the title and the poster. Are you telling me you don’t want to watch a film called ‘Santa Jaws’?
It’s almost hilarious that the concept of Krampus has only ever had 2 or 3 good movies about it but about 4000 bad low budget films. Killer toys, killer prizes, killer Santa, just think of anything and put killer in front of it and boom, you’ve become a producer for Full Moon Studios, congrats. Even I have dipped my toe as a film maker into the Christmas Horror genre, with my short film ‘Sleigh’, so go check that out! I think there definitely is a yearning from the horror community for more festive frights. In 2024, we’ll see Art the Clown invade the holiday season in 'Terrifier 3' and before it went into hiatus, 'Scream VII' was reportedly meant to be set a Christmas. The idea of seeing Jason Voorhees in the snow has always been on the wish list of 'Friday the 13th' fans, and thankfully we’ve unofficially seen this in the fan made film ‘Never Hike Alone’.
While Santa travelling around the world in one night has been a much-loved fantasy for many years, you can also look at it as a man who sneaks into your house while you’re sleeping and eats your food. It’s the perfect set up for a horror movie, but most attempts often miss the mark. The Hallmark channel make 100’s of cheesy Christmas films all year around; it wouldn’t take much to have one of those films randomly have a cameo from Freddy Krueger to towards the end to bring in a new audience. I think we need to accept that all of the good ideas have been done and that’s fine. When in doubt, remix some ideas to make something new. Gremlins Vs Krampus? Yes please. Santa and The Grinch in a sequel to 'Face/Off'? Tell me you wouldn’t watch that. It’s taking old ideas and making something outrageous because why not? Christmas in itself is a corporate holiday, taking traditions and twisting them into something sickly sweet. So why can’t we as horror fans, twist it the other way, and make something truly bonkers.
Oh, and 'Nutcracker Massacre' is shite. Merry Christmas, everyone!