By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
There’s been a bit of a Scandinavian high-concept horror kick going on the last few years. Some of the films that have fallen into that category have been pretty awesome.
Nazi Zombies? Fuck. Yes.
While others haven’t been quite as interesting.
I don’t give a shit about trolls. Who am I, Hans Christian Andersen?
However, I do believe that I’ve found my favorite of the genre, a film that tackles a character who has gripped the overactive nighttime imaginations of children the world over. Clad entirely in ropery colored the red of a freshly severed heart and haunting his chosen night with home invasions of whoever he wishes, truly no one is safe from:
All kidding aside, children fromScandinaviahave long been told a version of the Santa Claus story that is panty-wastingly terrifying. Long before Colca-Cola, Nuutti Pukki, The Yule Goat, rewarded children both naughty and nice (if you’ve ever seen an Ingmar Bergman film, you know the Norse can’t tell the difference- all souls are some shade of black) with his own brand of Yuletide Cheer.
Which mostly involved ripping their faces off
In the mythology of Rare Exports, the indigenous Saami people were able to trap Santa under a frozen lake and freeze him indefinitely. In the present day, a rich man who looks like a scientist from The Last Crusade decides he wants to sit on the real Santa’s lap or something and hires excavators to free him.
A boy who teeters closer to the naughty column starts to suspect more than natural causes when all their community’s reindeer end up slaughtered. When children also start beginning to go missing, it’s up to him to convince all the adults around him what’s happening or fight the menace himself.
It’s like Home Alone, but Joe Pesci’s playing his character from Goodfellas
Shit, haven’t I already given you enough reasons to see this? This movie is primarily concept-driven, but there’s some beautiful scenery and pretty good humor to be enjoyed as well. You have to give a special raise of the glass to the creepiness of the underused rich guy, Per Christian Ellefsen, and especially to Peeter Jakobi, who plays the sick bastard on the cover.
Is playing scary easier or harder in the nude?
For a movie that clocks in at a barely feature-length 80 minutes, it sure takes its time getting to the good stuff. I probably shouldn’t encourage this, but a little less character-building and a little more gore wouldn’t have been a bad idea.
Especially if you’re just going to give your main character (a little kid, remember) chuck Norris-level skills. As awesome as that sounds, some level of execution is necessary. After the second slo-mo sequence and ten foot leap my normally hardy suspension of disbelief begun to warp like a Minneapolis bridge.
Whatever. You weren’t watching the killer Santa Claus movie for its sense of realism. Split a six-pack with a friend, settle back, and enjoy.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every Christmas reference
Take a Drink: whenever the kid is ignored by adults
Drink a Shot: whenever the kid gets a slo-mo scene