Anytime you pair up a holiday with horror you have the potential of something great. Outside of Halloween, Christmas seems to have had the most success in horror, but over the last few years they have fallen short. This year seems to be the year of Krampus with numerous films focusing on the legend. The latest, A Christmas Horror Story looks to bring the legend to life along with some other chilling tales, but does it have what it takes to become a holiday classic or will it be a tradition soon forgotten?
A Christmas Horror Story follows a series of stories following a group of high school students investigating a mysterious homicide that occurred the prior holiday season, a couple that notices their young son is acting strangely after a snowy forest trip to cut down a traditional tree and one family who are stalked through a winter wonderland by Krampus, the Xmas demon all while Santa is fending off zombie elves at the Northpole. As with any film that showcases multiple stories you have some hits and misses. Thankfully all of the stories here are at least entertaining on some level despite them not all fully working. The story focusing on the teens investigating is the most lacking of them all as it doesn’t really feel like a holiday story and in turn just feels like it doesn’t belong here. Sure it supposedly took place around the holidays, but with the others firmly planted in the season it feels out of place and other than the ending of the story is pretty slow paced. The strange boy is the most clichéd with it taking on aspects of every film like this involving a strange kid, but the direction and fun kill in the story helps it to be a bit of fun despite not just fully cutting lose to make the story stand out more.
The story featuring Krampus as well as the Santa story are the best and in the end make the film worth checking out. With these they took things to the level you expect of the film with plenty of action and fun kills to entertain. The icy demonic look of Krampus works great and is an awesome creature that deserves to be on screen way more than it does. Thankfully once introduced they try to make up for it with plenty of fun with him. The zombie elves story with Santa maintains the best overall of the story with not only some fun time watching Santa in full on badass killing machine mode, but the best twist of the entire film and worth watching just for it. Unlike most of these types of films you will be glad to know that the image on the cover featuring Krampus and Santa going head to head is in fact in the film and fun to watch.
Even if his part was completely not needed for this film, William Shatner steps in as a radio show host who essentially holds this film together as a narrator. His part serves no real purpose, but Shatner is just fun to watch so adds another strange segment to the film that is fun to watch. If you love horror, especially ones with holiday themes then give this one a try for no other reason than to see Santa and Krampus kick each other’s asses in all their holiday glory.