Sheitan aka Satan (2006)

Contrary to popular belief, not all horror films that are set around the festive season feature a murderous Santa, a psychotic snowman or indeed a Nazi controlled Elf. Leave it to the French to act as the welcome Ghost of a Blood Soaked Christmas Future …

Joyeux Noël mes démons peu gore!

It’s Christmas Eve and a three drunken idiots are getting their annoying on, at the Styxx club in Paris, and after a bar fight one of them gets a well deserved bottle to the face and is thrown out. Luckily, Eve, a girl they have just met (and is suspiciously far too pretty to be putting up with any of them), invites the boys and their friend Yasmine back to her house in the country. Yep, it didn’t sound like a good idea to me either but ..

When they arrive at Eve’s place they are greeted by the manically grinning Joseph the housekeeper (played by the always brilliant Vincent Cassel), and things start to get a little squirmy to say the least. Not to give anything away but it’s safe to say that no one would want to re enact this Christmas fairytale ..

Sheitan is a masterpiece of a film, not just in the horror genre but in general. The culture clash between city folk and country ways, from language to morality, makes the film both amusing and poignant, where the innocent evil of the rednecks, is sometimes easier to sympathise with than the ignorant urban dicks that fight, steal and kick animals, but not quite .. They’re no innocent parties in this weird little set up, believe me.

A story of Satanism, inbreeding, ignorance and prejudice .. Not very often a horror movie that takes place at this time of year can boast a serious, thought provoking plot, with onion like layers of symbolism that is genuinely disturbing until the very end. The character of Joseph completely steals the show, and in my opinion the boatload criticism surrounding it is undeserved.

Dark humour, stomach churning moments, and a smattering of gore – now that’s what I consider a Merry Christmas!

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