29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
There's a new Santa in town,
This review is from: Christmas Evil (DVD)
Christmas Evil holds a unique spot in the genre of Christmas slasher films. While a few individuals are murdered, there so little blood that I would not classify this as a slasher film at all. This is more of a psychological treatment that transcends horror of a primal nature. In its own special twisted way, Christmas Evil is really sort of touching, and I would argue that it actually does possess a measure of real Christmas spirit. Harry isn't a bad guy; his heart is in the right place - it's just a few of his toys of death that end up in wrong places such as someone else's neck. As a young child, Harry sees disturbing evidence before his very eyes that Santa Claus is not real, and this experience scars him for life. He does not let the Christmas spirit die in him, however; the spirit actually grows to the point that, as a forty-something year old man, he tries to become Santa Claus and spread joy to good little children. He spies on the neighborhood kids, writing down notes in his books of naught boys and girls. As a newly-promoted manager at a toy factory, he is dismayed to see inferior-quality toys rolling off the assembly line, his co-workers speak badly of the holidays, and a new hotshot executive puts forth a promotional campaign to send toys to a children's hospital without knowing or caring if there will be enough for the kids. Eventually, poor Harry snaps, dons a Santa suit, and goes out to spread Christmas spirit all around. Of course, a few adults have been very bad in his eyes, and a few of them end up dead.
Brandon Maggart is really quite good in the role of Harry. Some of his laughing fits early on are rather annoying, but his face really shows a lot of emotion and complexity, especially on those occasions when he is doing something that will make children happy and when he finally comes to grip with the idea that his plan to give everyone a real Santa has failed. Take away Harry's obvious mental unbalance and you are left with a weird sort of inspirational story, one that actually fits in to some degree with classic Christmas tales such as A Christmas Carol. I'm not saying this is a movie every family needs to watch every Christmas Eve - that is clearly not the case. However, Harry, in his own tragically disastrous way, does have the Christmas spirit and tries to keep it in his heart every single day, and that is what I will remember about him the most.
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Initial post: Jan 21, 2015 7:04:15 PM PST
Michael P. McParland says:
I agree. Hands down this is one of my favorite horror films. Harry really is a sympathetic character in his almost child like innocence about Christmas. His heart was ultimately in the right place though clear he had snapped by the point he dons the Santa suit. It's a story of a lonely man who's obsessed with Santa and the holiday but ultimately just wants the spirit of love and giving to be shared by all. Even through his psychotic spree you can't help but still feel for him in a way. He's never a character you hate or outright cheer against. I also agree that this is not a slasher. It really did take more of a psychological approach with his madness and obsession.
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