Christmas Evil ★★½

Some people have daddy issues. Harry Stadling has Santa issues.

One Christmas Eve traumatized him. He couldn’t handle the truth.

As an adult, he has a strong spirit of Christmas, but in the manner that Santa would. He admires a well-designed toy. He keeps two books: One for good children, the other for the bad. Spying on neighborhood children is a major pastime. Doubtless he’s on edge—what if he goes over it on Christmas Eve again, but murderously?

It’s a darkly comic take on that “slasher” formula that has the killer’s point of view. It has a touch of domestic drama. Cinematography is well-done, better than the average “murder thriller.” Insofar as it has a message: Holidays are kinda nuts, adulthood is cruel, life might suck completely.

But it’s slow. Moments are drawn out without much feeling. There’s comedy, but much of it was deflated in this context. The consistency of this—as I experienced it—hampers my rating quite a bit.

The ending saves the movie. I rewatched it. For some viewers it could make it all worthwhile, almost like the music in the end credits of “Police, Adjective.”

It wasn’t all that I hoped for, but serious horror fans should watch it eventually, especially the slasher/holiday/black comedy horror hounds.