Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Deadly Little Christmas (2009)

... aka: Christmas

Directed by:
Novin Shakiba

It's Christmas Day in suburbia. Mom Mary Merriman (Felissa Rose) wrangles her three little kids in front of the tree while Dad (Douglas Myers) shows up dressed as jolly Saint Nick to deliver presents. Afterwards, while Dad is in bed with the Swedish housekeeper Inga (Noa Geller) someone sneaks in with a knife and stabs them to death. The only son Devin is blamed for the crime and is sent off to live in a nuthouse. Fifteen years pass, and Mary and her two daughters; Taylor (Monique La Barr) and Noel (Leah Grimsson) are getting ready for another holiday season. Taylor is the entertainment director at the local community playhouse and Noel is a budding actress starring in her sister's production and a high school senior dating Steve (Anthony Campanello), who's also in the play. Mary has refused to really discuss what happened years ago with her girls and tries to keep them out of it. Hoping for a Christmas miracle, she goes to visit her son, who hasn't spoken a word to her since the murders. This time it's no different. Devin (Samuel Nathan Hoffmire) gives her the cold shoulder and refuses to utter a word.






While he's having a temper tantrum, an orderly goes in to sedate Devin with chloroform (!!) Devin knocks him out and, since this takes place in the kind of asylum only seen in bad slasher movies, is free to just walk out the door. It isn't long before a masked killer is running around killing people. Considering the psycho is wearing the same yellow scrub pants / black hoodie combo Devin was wearing at the asylum, we're to assume it's him. Sick of being kept in the dark for all these years, Taylor and Noel dig up some old family pictures from the basement and decide to confront Mary about everything. She flips out, gets defensive and refuses to discuss any of it with them. She's kept her girls sheltered, so she doesn't want it all dug out now, especially around the holidays.






The following day, Mary receives a phone call from the hospital and is informed that Devin has escaped his room. She rushes over only to get patronized by the staff, who tell her that her son has never shown any signs of being violent (?!) and that he's probably just hiding somewhere in the building. In addition, the police don't offer her up any real help. When Mary tells them her son is going to come after her and her daughters and they need protection, a detective (Eric Mark Fischer) informs her that "If I can't find somebody to do it, I'll do it myself." Oh brother. A couple of police officers are murdered in the basement of the hospital soon after, and the killer finally shows up at the community center to have a confrontation with the Merriman family.






After I noticed this was from Sterling Entertainment, I pretty much knew it was going to suck. Producer David S. Sterling has been making these things for well over a decade now and I don't think his name has been attached to a single good film. This very low-budget offering (shot on digital, of course!) carries on the Sterling tradition. It's so low-budget that the big Christmas show everyone keeps stressing over ends up having a cast of three actors and an audience of six people, including the detective who's been sent there to keep an eye on things!






The actors range from mediocre to awful. Flubbed lines are allowed to seep into the finished product and some of the mundane reactions from people about to get killed are pretty hilarious. The continuity is off numerous times and, despite employing annoying cheat scenes (including have a different actor actually play the killer), the whole thing is just extremely predictable. Add in the fact there's very minimal bloodshed and the whole thing is rather pointless.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The mask (whatever it was supposed to be) was kind of cool, the sisters were cute, and the throat stabbing and ending headshot looked okay.

But other than that... yeah, pretty crap, and one of the most awkward films I've ever seen; special mention going to the mother visiting the son, and the detective talking to everyone after the play. God...

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