A family located in the remote woods are unhappily celebrating Christmas. The clan fall prey to a vicious axe-wielding masked maniac called the Santa Slasher (a genuinely creepy mute portrayal by Frank Fata). Writer/director Chris R. Notarile does an ace job of creating and sustaining a tense eerie atmosphere throughout and delivers a decent sprinkling of gore. Moreover, Notarile stages a bravura mass murder sequence that's ironically set to Bobby Helms' bubbly yuletide classic "Jingle Bell Rock" with real skill and aplomb (Bing Crosby's merry Noel nugget "Here Comes Santa Claus" is likewise put to good use earlier in the picture). This movie further benefits from solid acting by a capable cast, with especially stand-out work by Monica DiNatale as the bitter Ellie and Thomas Daniel as the troubled Kevin. Notarile deserves extra praise for treating the premise with admirable seriousness; any silly or obtrusive campy humor is thankfully absent. In fact, cinematic jack-of-all-trades Notarile even did the sharp cinematography and composed the effectively spare'n'shivery score. The closing image showing the nutso taking a cookie meant for St. Nick is simply priceless. A cool little seasonal slice'n'dice short.
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