Christmas Evil aka You Better Watch Out! (1980)

‘Tis the season to be jolly apparently, so I’ve decided to review a few of my favourite Christmas themed horror films along with the usual standard fare, to get myself into the Yuletide spirit. So prepare yourself for blood splattered tinsel, nasty little presents left under the tree and more Santa related puns than you can shake a bauble at. Festive gore movies don’t give a Mr Hanky (the Christmas poo for those not in the know) whether you’ve been naughty or nice – it’s how fast you can run, whether your house is easily accessible by chimney, or if you sleep with a gun under your pillow.

Enjoy. Or y’know, don’t.

Christmas is a time for presents and over indulgence, but for the wee ones it’s about that innocent fluttery feeling on Crimbo Eve when the anticipation of Santa Claus sliding down your chimney like a rotund reverse burglar and leaving you a crap load of presents, is all that gets you through that excitement free school year. Some folks parents even go so far as to do the whole dressing Daddy up like Santa thing, but trust me, after seeing this little Christmas creep fest you may wanna rethink that can of psychological worms …

Harry Stadling had a traumatic experience as a child – one fateful Christmas Eve he saw Mommy doing a whole lot more than kissing Santa Claus and the shock of finding out that the jolly fat bloke wasn’t real messed him up. It messed him up good. Now as a middle aged man, he’s obsessed with Christmas – particularly ole St Nick, and his whole life revolves around the festive season. He spies on the children in the town where he lives, and puts them in the naughty and nice books accordingly, he works in a toy factory, and has an apartment full of freaky faced toys. One year, Harry has a complete psychological hiccup in the form of a festive bloodbath/present giving spree. He starts to think he is Santa. A Santa with issues.

Christmas Evil is for me, the It’s A Wonderful Life of festive horror films. Harry isn’t evil, he’s just a product of a society with no sense of fun or innocence anymore, and I’m not ashamed to say that I root for the guy every time I watch it. Everyone around him is selfish and cruel, and the people he murders are total dicks, therefore in my morally bankrupt head, they deserve everything they get. In his killing spree, he takes time out to donate a van load of presents to a hospital full of orphans, and makes some other good little girls and boys Christmas dreams come true with lovely presents and a visit from an extremely realistic looking Chris Cringle. Also, when the guy runs I wee a little from laughing and the scene where he gets stuck in a chimney are just two reasons why he is my favourite Christmas killer.

If you’re looking for a slasher, wham bam, goodnight maam, type of horror then this aint gonna be your sack of presents at all, but if you want to watch a decent, well acted, Christmas themed psychological creep show, then look no further. Also, strangely enough, it has a bit of a moral message, if you’re a sucker for feel good festive fun.

Better Watch Out? Only if you are a total dick it seems, because this psychopath has good judgement.

Sorry David Cameron, looks like this Christmas you are out of luck

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