30 December 2018 | kannibalcorpsegrinder
Somewhat flawed enjoyable holiday slasher
After capturing a sadistic killer, a detective learns that he has escaped after several years in captivity and sets out to finish a deranged killing spree interrupted by his capture, putting him on the target of a group of friends partying in a remote village and forcing him to stop the killer.
This was a rather enjoyable holiday-themed slasher. One of the finer points here is the strong slasher-film setup at play here, which is the point of these types of films. The main setup, of the deranged killer exploiting a fabricated system of punishing those that might not seem to have a connection but n his warped thinking there is, his idea of hunting down those that he believes has been a sinner in their lives gives him a fine motivation to carry out his spree. This is nicely done in conjunction with the detective out to catch him once again after having caught him the first time around works as a fine secondary motive, and when carried out with the idea of the girls at the house partying that draws the killer there gives this a rather strong slasher-style setup. There's also the strong slashing scenes in the film. The opening scene, with the detectives searching the house for the killer after he had taken out the family in the darkened house, sets up the impressive scenes later on in the village. As the holiday setting is ably utilized in fine form with the festive lights, ornaments and decorations, as well as the overall snowy landscapes as the air is adorned with festive seasonal songs, there's a fine counterbalance to the scenes of the Santa-dressed killer running wild in the streets providing this with plenty of graphic kills, bloodshed and suspense as the scenes in the abandoned town give this a lot to like. These here are what makes this one work over the flaws here. The main issue at fault here is the rather sedate and bland pacing that comes into play. The fact that a deranged serial killer, given as much backstory as we have here about his feelings and history about the holiday, doesn't generate more focus and intensity from the officers in charge to stop him makes the detective investigation scenes rather bland and boring. This should generate more urgency to catch him, yet there's very little energy to these scenes as they seem happier to be meeting up again than stopping him. Likewise, the girls' trip includes the same drama about drug use, partying and cheating boyfriends that isn't new or adds anything to the film, making for a longer setup time than what's warranted to get to the slashing and causing this to stretch out far longer than it really should be. The other problem to be had with the film is the technically-challenging issue of being way too dark to make anything out at times. Since this is taking place in a small, remote village that doesn't have too many residents there to light everything up, but even at that point, the film is just too dark to really tell what's going on. As this occurs during the film's main targets in the slashing scenes in the inn where they stay during the finale as the killer begins running loose on the group, it's quite detrimental to the point of this one really not being able to tell what's happening as the shadows overwhelm this one during this time. Combined with some overly familiar setups and themes from other genre features, these here are the film's only flaws.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Extreme Graphic Language, Brief Full Nudity, a mild sex scene and drug use.