Christmas Horror Story, A

Featured In Issue 202, December 2015

WSR Score3
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Image Entertainment
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Not Rated
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Grant Harvey, Steven Hoban & Brett Sullivan
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A Christmas Horror Story takes place in Bailey Downs during the season of joy, peace, and goodwill. Last Christmas Eve, two teens came to a grisly end in a school basement. Now, one year later, a new set of horrors has come to town. As three friends explore the site of the massacre, a malevolent spirit is determined to keep them there forever. One of the first cops to the scene of the bloody murders has new complications as his seven-year-old son exhibits terrifying and violent behavior. And when a local family seeks reconciliation with an estranged aunt for the wrong reasons, they suddenly find themselves running in terror from Krampus, the demonic anti-Santa Claus. Not even St. Nick is immune to the terror as he fights back against a horde of zombie elves. What an unforgettable holiday. (Gary Reber)

Special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette (HD 14:45) and upfront previews.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture, photographed digitally, exhibits effective cinematography, production design, and lighting effects. The color palette varies accordingly with the scene, exhibiting rich and warm hues and bright highlights or dim, dark hues and shadows. Contrast is well balanced with deep, solid blacks that define the darkest settings. The imagery is sharp and detailed throughout, with a pristine visual quality. Each story segment has its own visual character, which enhances the overall engagement. For example, Dangerous Dan’s (Shatner) studio exhibits a festive decor, while the scenes in the school basement are mostly shadowed with spot lighting to project fear. This is a decent horror genre affair that is visually engaging. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is dominated by Alex Khaskin's bass-heavy score, which can at times be intense. The score is nicely recorded, and combined with sound effects, deep bass extends to sub-25 Hz frequencies. Atmospherics are real enough, and in combination with the sound effects the sonics build and define the power of the supernatural forces at play. The effects are often aggressively directionalized within the surrounds. Often dynamic sounding, the soundtrack delivers the mood at all times. Dialogue is consistently intelligible with good spatial inauguration. This is an eerily exciting soundtrack that effectively creates uneasiness and suspense. (Gary Reber)