Red Christmas (2016) Poster

(I) (2016)

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Christmas-Reviewer15 November 2017


Horror legend Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, E.T., Cujo, Critters) stars as the stressed-out mother of a squabbling family, gathered together in a remote Outback estate on Christmas Eve. When a mysterious, deformed young man named Cletus appears at their door, things soon change from petty insults to bloody, imaginatively orchestrated violence as Wallace attempts to protect her family from the vengeful intruder. The film deliriously infuses comedy, dark family secrets with outlandish gore and adds the always controversial subject of abortion in its blood-stained mix.

This film is amateur hour. The camera work is terrible. The director thinks his low angles and weird color schemes add mode but they are a distraction.

If you want to see a good horror film that has a Christmas setting then watch the original "Black Christmas"
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Almost the Worst Christmas Horror Film Ever Made
gavin694224 July 2016
A mother (Dee Wallace) must protect her family on Christmas Day from a demented stranger (Sam Campbell) who is hell-bent on tearing them apart after being rejected.

The 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival shattered my expectations, and not always in a good way. Two of the best surprises were Geoff Redknap's "The Unseen" and the conspiracy-themed "Man Underground". But then we had the proverbial stinkers. Takashi Miike added a dud to hid otherwise illustrious career with "Terraformars". And then there is "Red Christmas", a modern slasher.

First of all, I am a big fan of Christmas-themed horror films. Not all are winners ("Silent Night, Deadly Night II") but almost all are at least entertaining. And "Red Christmas" has Dee Wallace both starring and producing, which is a good thing – she has been a genre icon for over three decades thanks to "E.T.", "Cujo" and "The Hills Have Eyes", among others. But somehow these two strengths just do not carry the picture.

And then there are secondary considerations. I also love most slasher films, and you have to appreciate the design that went into Cletus. He is certainly one of the more refreshing masked killers we have seen in years, with no comparison in recent memory. And the idea of having an abortion clinic theme was very wise, as it makes you realize how much this is an untapped area for horror. There was John Carpenter's lackluster "Pro-Life" (2006), but no other horror movie touching on this taboo topic comes to mind. So these were some of the few strong points.

But the shortcomings just far outweigh the positives that everyone brought to the table. The dialogue seemed poorly scripted and delivered, while the pregnant woman looked like she was literally holding up a beach ball under her dress. Every character makes poor decisions; and while poor decisions are common in slasher films, these may be among the worst. The lighting – what is up with the neon lighting? I presume it is supposed to be Christmas lights, but it does not look like them (and how are they working if the power is out?). And let us not get started on the stereotypical, one-dimensional closeted Christian pastor.

One of the biggest downfalls is actually making the film a Christmas story. There is a bit of Christmas-related plot (the giving of gifts), but this is rather irrelevant to the story at large. Cletus could have shown up on any day of the year and it would have been just as well. The setting of Australia also seems wrong for Christmas, because an important part of Christmas horror is snow. I suppose this criticism might be unfair to Australians because it more or less suggests they cannot make Christmas horror films… but I think my point is really that if you are going for a Christmas theme, really make it somehow recognizable (hint: snow) or important to the plot. Instead, it seems like this was just pandering, trying to capitalize on a title that is similar to "Black Christmas"… and this film is not even as good as the "Black Christmas" remake, which is saying something.

I may be coming down unusually hard on the film. After all, "Red Christmas" is better than many of the low-budget horror films that flood the market these days. And I have to give them credit for the practical effects; some are rough, but I'd rather see a bad practical effect than bad CGI. What really disappointed me, to be honest, was how this film made the cut for Fantasia. With the dozens of top-notch world premieres, it is a shame when something like this slips through. Critic Matt Donato really sums it up when he says the movie "falls short of being the next killer yuletide classic." Yep.

When first reviewing the film, I wrote, "Expect it to die a quiet death on video store shelves." This has since come to be half correct. On the one hand, it did not get a wider theatrical release. And for a movie that I saw in July 2016, it seems like October 2017 is an awful long time to go from festival to Blu-ray. However, the company that picked it up is Artsploitation, who have some solid titles under their belt (Jonas Govaerts' "Cub" comes to mind). Soclearly they believe there is something marketable here -- perhaps more than the derivative title and the star power of Wallace.

You do not have to take my word for it. Thanks to the power of Blu-ray, the film can now be yours, and with a nice batch of special features. There are a handful of interviews, and most crucially the feature-length commentary from the director. Commentaries can tell you the secrets of how good films are made, or perhaps in this case give the creator 90 minutes to defend himself. You be the judge.
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Begins with an Abortion Clinic bombing, and never lets up!
Hellmant10 August 2016
Fantasia 2016: 'RED Christmas': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Another entry in this year's 'Fantasia International Film Festival', is this Australian slasher flick; written and directed by actor, and TV director, turned first time feature filmmaker Craig Anderson. It stars veteran scream queen Dee Wallace; as a mother, protecting her family from a deranged home intruder (on Christmas day). The movie costars Sarah Bishop, Janis McGavin, Gerard Odwyer, Sam Campbell, Geoff Morrell, David Collins, Bjorn Stewart and Deelia Meriel. The film is pretty dark, and twisted, but it's also a lot of fun; if you enjoy this type of movie.

The story is set on Christmas day; when Diane (Wallace) has gathered all of her offspring together, to celebrate the holiday. Some tense drama erupts, immediately between her daughters, but that changes when a creepy cloaked stranger (Campbell) knocks on the door. Diane invites him in, to be hospitable, but she soon realizes she doesn't want him there; when the stranger brings up past heartbreaking trauma. The family kicks the unwanted guest out, which they quickly realize was a mistake, when family members begin showing up dead (one by one).

The movie is frightening, and quite disturbing (in many different ways); it begins with an Abortion Clinic bombing, and never lets up from there. The directing is very stylistic (in a classic 80s slasher flick way), and the story is surprisingly involving. All of the characters are really well developed, and the performances are equally as impressive. Dee Wallace is especially amazing, in the lead role. I was really impressed by how much I enjoyed this movie! If you're a horror film fan, you'll probably love it.

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Pretty good Slasher film !!
jeanfrancois_croteau25 July 2016
I'm a SLASHER maniac, and Christmas movies are always fun. I enjoyed RED Christmas from the beginning till the end, ans we have to give credit to the beautiful ans talented DEE WALLACE who give another TOUR DE FORCE performance. I really envoyed seeing her, and i think she's a fantastic Scream Queen. But beside all that, that little movie, shot in 15 days has a real soul, and i really appreciate the way they used the light in the film. For me, it's an instant Christmas Classic that i'll buy and watch every years in the Holiday beside GREMLINS and BLACK Christmas. If you like 80 Slashers films, and if you felt in love with DEE WALLACE since your childhood (E.T, or HOWLING), you'll have a great time.
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I never wanted you
Michael Ledo2 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The film opens showing various abortion confrontations so when the deformed stranger shows up and calls Dee, "mother" we know the mystery, Dee Wallace has all off her family together at Christmas as two sisters can't get along. We get background information of all the people, with my favorite dying first. A deformed stranger shows up at the door and reads a letter about an incident at an abortion clinic 20 years ago which is supposed to be a mystery, but isn't. Then for some reason the stranger goes violent and no one can defend themselves from the slow moving deformed individual that has trouble walking or making simple movements....outside of yielding an ax.

The characters were good. They should have spent a little more time developing them and then kill them in unique ways apropos to their character traits. I thought the subject matter and killer were pathetic. Could be a pro-life message, but not a strong one.

Guide: F-word. Sex. No nudity
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Christmas past ...
kosmasp16 April 2017
Or something different for that matter. To be honest it won't be too hard to figure out, who our mystery character is, who just wants one thing. Or does he really? Whatever the case, the mystery is not a big one and that's not the selling point of the movie either. It actually is the gore that follows and the tension that it builds that will either leave you in awe or in disarray.

You have to decide if you're up for horror and a lot of violence with this one. If you are, you are in for a treat. If not just leave this alone and watch something else. You have Dee Wallace as mother figure, which is fitting and the rest of the cast has their own kind of fun.
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Surprisingly good Holiday slasher Flick
stephenw-301809 October 2017
When I saw the ad for this film I immediately thought it was going to be another poorly made low budget piece of crap that has been regurgitated time and again.

I was completely wrong and pleasantly surprised how good this film was. Dee Wallace (as the Matriarch) does a great job as does the supporting cast. The lighting and score was exceptional and the story unique and was very relevant to the plot and narrative.

Once again a great Aussie horror film. I have to say the Australians have the Horror genre down to a science. I never expected this film to be so creepy and have such a strong subplot that you never see coming. Original kill scenes and diversity in each character makes this film all the more better. The antagonist is very creepy and covered in robe and swathing. He has a mission which is revealed (sort of) towards the middle of the film. It's fully explained towards the end to wrap up the baseline narrative.

As I typically never like to disclose spoilers in my reviews I won't divulge too much about the story, but will say, if you are a Horror fan and fan of the sub genre Slasher flick, you will Love this film. Additionally, this film will appeal to any horror fan who likes well done twists and unexpected plot surprises.

Bravo for a very entertaining and original take on the Christmas Horror scenario. This is one of, if not THE BEST, Holiday horror film I've seen in 20 years!

Watch and enjoy....
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A New Christmas Horror Classic is Born...
joyhorror-790-10220414 June 2017
Red Christmas is a great gift to the horror genre. It's in the tradition of classics like, Silent Night, Deadly Night and Christmas Evil. If you didn't know any better, you would think you picked up a VHS copy off the shelf of your local video store's horror section in 1980 something. It has that type of feel, a throwback to the glory days of hand made gore. The kill scenes are great and gruesome, and let's not forget creative. It's an essential piece of horror pop- culture worth watching over and over again. It's not Santa doing the slicing and dicing in this holiday slasher flick, but instead Cletus, an aborted baby all grown up and ready to get his revenge on Christmas Eve! Wow, this is some powerful and controversial subject matter that could have easily went the wrong direction, but director Craig Anderson was able to tackle the topic of abortion and make it work in this B level horror flick. Let's not forget about the ultimate scream queen, Dee Wallace, known for such movies as E.T. The Extra- Terrestrial, Cujo, The Howling, Critters, and Hills Have Eyes. She is a phenomenal actress, and her talents shine brighter than ever in this new Christmas horror classic! It's the type of movie that you find yourself thinking about and talking about after you're done watching it. You know it's a good movie when it stays with you and you feel the need to tell other people about it. Definitely worth checking out. You won't be disappointed.
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Not a Good Movie But Enough Interesting Stuff To Make It Worth Watching
Michael_Elliott28 October 2017
Red Christmas (2016)

** (out of 4)

This bizarre film starts off at an abortion clinic where someone walks in with a bag, which eventually explodes. Flash-forward twenty years and Diane (Dee Wallace) has her family at her home where they are preparing a big Christmas event. Before long a strange man wrapped from head to toe shows up. He wants to read a letter to his mommy and before long brutal murders are happening.

RED Christmas starts off with an abortion bombing and it grows every bit weirder as it moves along. I'm not going to say this movie is a complete success but there's no question that it contains some pretty bizarre ideas and a bizarre execution. This film isn't what I'd consider good but there are enough weird ideas that make it entertaining to watch and then you throw in the graphic violence and you're probably looking at something that is going to gain a cult following.

As I've said throughout, I give writer-director Craig Anderson credit for attempting to go to a very dark place and create a bizarre holiday tale. The killer here is a deformed creature and also a haunted human who just wants to know why his mother was willing to kill him and not love him. A lot of horror films try to give their killers origin stories or some sort of weak backstory but this film here actually delivers something rather strong and something that can make you think. I mean, for a horror picture that's really saying something.

With that being said, the execution wasn't the greatest and there's a point around the forty-five minute mark where things get rather stale and slow down to a very big crawl. I'd also argue that some of the points of the story could have been expanded on but the 82-minute running time didn't allow for that. Performance for the most part were good and especially Wallace as she gets a good meaty role to work with and she does a very good job with it playing a character who must face her face and see the damage it has had on her future.

As I said, gore hounds will be extremely happy as there are some pretty brutal murders here that have all sorts of CGI blood being thrown around. Technically speaking the film was well-made and has a very professional and good look to it. RED Christmas isn't a masterpiece or even a good movie but there are enough good moments to make it worth sitting through.
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Not your usual holiday slasher movie, a story with plenty of gore
Indyrod9 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The movie tonight is a 2017 entry into the Christmas horror list "Red Christmas", and it is a very disturbing movie, nothing like what you are used to from these holiday massacres. No bad Santas, no slashers killing random for no apparent reason, this actually has a pretty decent story. Dee Wallace produced and starred in this very gory movie with plenty of bloody kills. A family unites for Christmas in a remote home, and then a stranger covered in a cloak and nothing that reveals his true appearance appears, creeps everybody out, and is thrown out. As members of the family start to end up in a bloody mess, the real reason for all of this carnage reveals itself. Believe it or not, this is an anti-abortion message movie, which is explained at the beginning, but you have no idea how extreme that is going to go. I found it very interesting, very good performances, even though the family characters annoyed me to death. As the family is killed off, I was hoping they all would, which turned out pretty true. Not a spoiler, because it is pretty evident after you find out the real story. Anyway, I guess you need to see it, even though even myself found it very distasteful and as I said disturbing.
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