Sint aka Saint (2010)

Saint Nicolas or Santa Claus as he’s more commonly known, goes by many names, a bit like Justin Bieber ( of course every other name that the chipmunk voiced little pop star is known by aren’t complimentary at all), and he has the added bonus of being loved by most people, even if they aren’t Christian or celebrants of Christmas. I mean, it’s pretty difficult to dislike a guy with a beard that the members of ZZ Top would covet and is always handing out presents. Plus, it’s not good for the soul to waste energy on hating someone fictional, unless it’s a character from a Stephenie Meyer book, of course.

Or Stephenie Meyer herself.

Or anyone related to her in any way, shape, or form.

But, imagine if old Saint Nick wasn’t so benevolent and generous? I mean, this is an old man who can break and enter your house without leaving a trace, never mind fingerprints, and watches you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake … and he is immortal. Now that, my little sugarplums is definitely the stuff of nightmares.

In Norway, Sint Nicklaus is known as the jolly old guy that rides a horse and brings gifts every December 5th, but in reality he is a blood thirsty zombie that rises when a full moon coincides with said date, kidnapping children and slaughtering anyone else that gets in his way along with this band of charred accomplices. Only a grizzled cop haunted by the massacre of his family, and an extremely unlikable teenage boy wrongly accused of the murder of his ex (‘Santa did it’ isn’t the best alibi apparently), can stop him with the help of large quantities of explosives.

Sounds like a fun watch right?

Well you’d be wrong.

And really, really bored.

And possibly quite offended.

Christmas horror films are supposed to be dumb, and if they make you laugh either intentionally or otherwise, then, it’s a bonus, but Sint was a diabolical cringe fest that had absolutely no redeeming qualities for me at all.

Terrible scripting, awful characters that needed punching in the face at the best of times, bouncing from absurd to attempts at serious drama in less than a minute, and dubbed over voice actors that sounded like they had taken the job because they’d stumbled into the recording studio by mistake and were hired due to the fact that no one else had turned up.

But the thing I had the real problem with was the acceptability of the kids ‘blacking up’ to be dressed as ‘Black Pete’ or Zwarte Pieten. Now this is a genuine practice in the Netherlands, which has come under fire in recent years by many organisations after American and British tourists experienced somewhat of a culture shock when being confronted by blacked up men and women wearing afro wigs and gold jewellery, while throwing candy to passers by on the streets.

While I understand that we should respect the traditions of other cultures, and director Dick Maas is merely depicting this in the film, watching white teenagers cover themselves in brown make up and paint their lips bright red, is racist, no matter how you want to dress it up (cough, cough Tropic Thunder, cough, cough).

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