Kelly M. Hudson
Santa Blood, Norwegian Style!
In 2011, a serial killer Santa that the police had been hunting for more than a decade was finally caught. The arresting officer shot the man several times, even trying to execute the maniac. Somehow, the killer survived and was put into an institution. Well, the bastard escaped years later and was on the prowl again. It turns out, Santa had a Naughty List of people that were his intended victims. This fact was made public long ago and despite the police knowing this, they still could not catch him. There were a few names Santa hadn’t gotten to yet and the detective in charge of tracking him down reasons that this is where the killer will go. He just has to find the right potential victims in order to stop a new rampage. Meanwhile, at a house in a small town, a group of girls get together to have a sort-of reunion for their dear friend whose mother died. As it so happens, her mother was on the Naughty List, and now the killer Santa is coming for the ladies. Can the cop get there in time to stop him, or will it be another horrific Christmas Eve?
Christmas Blood is a weird little movie. This Norwegian horror film is kind of all over the place. It feels a bit like the original Halloween, what with the nearly indestructible killer, locked up and then busting free to go finish the job he started long ago. There’s the obsessed detective who tried to kill Santa before, looming like Loomis in the background. The score is nothing like Halloween but they do use some of the same, ominous keyboard tones to help create a fatalistic atmosphere. And then there’s these bits of comedy scattered here and there that really don’t fit and create a jagged viewing experience. Maybe it worked in the original Norwegian, I don’t know, but there’s a couple of belching gags that, you know, are pretty universal in nature. Also, nothing much happens for a good portion of the film. There’s lots of investigating, lots of drama amongst the girls gathered together at the house, and a little bit of murder. Finally, at the end, the Santa arrives, and this is when things get somehow more uneven. The kills are cruel as hell and violent, totally belying the earlier feel of the film, which was going for more atmospheric terror. Now, I’m not one to complain about gore or violence, but it sure was jolting. And man, does it get nihilistic quick.
This isn’t really a movie I can recommend and yet I can’t steer you clear of it, either. It’s stuck somewhere between. The cast is pretty good in their roles, the violence is grim, and once the stalking starts, it’s pretty intense. But then you’ve got to wade through a lot to get there. If you’re curious, give it a shot; you might like it. If you don’t give it a go, though, I can’t say as you’d be missing anything.