Don’t Open Until Christmas (1984)

Now if you look up a list of the best festive horror films out there, they’re all very predictable, and Don’t Open Until Christmas is always somewhere near the top of the most recommended – I’m assuming this is mainly because there isn’t exactly an abundance of movies in said theme, because this film certainly isn’t living up to the hype in my optimistic eyes. This can only be made worse by the fact it’s a British film, and ‘good old Blighty‘, was good for nothing when it came to this sleazy little number, cutting the throat of my patriotism without a second glance.

Now the big fat guy is someone that we all love. Even if, at our cynical adult ages, we don’t believe in his existence, I think it’s safe to say that no one would argue that everyone’s idea of St Nick is that he’s an all round stand up dude – one night of the year he breaks into strangers houses and instead of leaving with a sack full of Ipods and an LCD screen under his arm, he drops off a loads of free stuff and all he asks for is a glass of milk, the occasional mince pie and maybe a carrot for his transport. what’s not to love about that?

Of course some traumatic events can occur in childhood that add a little tinsel to the crazy (maybe he molests your mother, kills your family, or something equally heinous that just plain puts a downer on all of your future Christmases) and the whole Santa myth becomes a little tainted and warped (see earlier blogs for details ..), but in this film Santa isn’t the killer – he’s the victim.

Dude – not cool.

So it’s London, in December and some maniac in a pants wettingly, creepy mask is killing anyone in a Santa Suit. The sleigh-ings (oh yes, I could work for The Sun with that kind of witty word smithery!) are being investigated by Scotland Yard’s top men (watching the film, you’ll see why this isn’t comforting at all), along with the help of a poor little rich girl and a reporter who might as well be wearing a badge that says ‘suspicious’.

It’s common knowledge (among horror geeks that have nothing better to do with their time, that is) that the film took two years to make and had 3 directors that tried to salvage what is essentially a really bad soap, spliced with a seventies detective novel and some soft core porn, and failed miserably. It’s a real shame, because this film had real potential, but shoddy editing, Blue Peter style FX, and criminal attempts at acting make it a celluloid tragedy at best. That’s not to say there aren’t some good moments (a castration in a men’s toilet was my personal favourite) but the monotonous Slasher killings, and the try hard exploitation had me wishing one of the deaths in this steaming turd of a horror had been me. Alas I survived it, and I’m still not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse ..

Don’t Open Until Christmas? Don’t open it at all.
Ever.

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This entry was posted in critique, fiction, film and media, horror, opinion, pop culture. Bookmark the permalink.

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