A diverse group of friends gather for the festive season in a remote lodge but soon plans go awry. One of the friends goes missing and the truth behind why the lodge was booked for the ...
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When an awkward date on Christmas Eve leads a couple into a strange theater, they're treated to a bizarre and frightening collection of Christmas stories, featuring a wide ensemble of characters doing their best to avoid the horrors of the holidays. From boring office parties and last-minute shopping, to vengeful stalkers and immortal demons, there's plenty out there to fear this holiday season.
David Ian McKendry,
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A diverse group of friends gather for the festive season in a remote lodge but soon plans go awry. One of the friends goes missing and the truth behind why the lodge was booked for the holiday is disclosed. Christmas quickly turns to chaos and a bloody nightmare ensues ..
Underwhelming if still rather appealing genre effort
Heading out to the countryside, a group of friends arrives a remote house to celebrate the holiday season, but as the night goes on the group suddenly comes to believe that a malevolent entity is preying on them using their darkest fears as fuel to kill them and must escape the house alive.
This was a fine if somewhat flawed effort. One of the better elements featured in this one is the strikingly enjoyable first half where there's some fun to be had with the build-up of the friends arriving at the house. This one treats the group rather nicely with how they're introduced as they seem like a genuine group of friends that would be hanging out together, poking fun and generally having fun while being together. The scenes of them partying together and having drinks while being out in the wilderness offers a fine starting point to where the horror elements that emerge later on have a rather intriguing base to work off of. When the horror does emerge here, there are some rather enjoyable times here as this one turns into a rather different animal than expected. The idea of being trapped in the house which suddenly starts in on the concept of the spirit getting free and turning their fears onto each other in the attempt to terrify them. These provide the kind of stellar supernaturally-tinged sequences that really could've added a lot more to this one than what's provided. Still, the idea of the relentless series of encounters that spring up as a result of their random encounters throughout the darkened house really drives this with some nice energy during the best part of the film. These here are what hold it up over the main flaws present. The main issue to be had with the film is a rather tonally chaotic final half that doesn't know what it wants to really do with itself. This one goes through a rather odd change-of-pace from the realistic setup of the first half by dropping the idea of them being at the house together and instead goes into a series of random occurrences that are due to to the sudden random appearance of this creature intent on killing them. The appearance of the creature is a complete mystery as to what it actually is, there's nothing about what it's trying to do at the house in the first place, making this part of the film incredibly confusing and disorienting. As well, the film has the rather odd sense of pacing within here that does manage to get progressively worse as the movie goes on. As it spends so long with the friends getting to know them that when it finally gets to the horror very little if anything has been said about what's going on because there's way too much of it about other areas. By then rushing through the actions of the ghostly creature with no information about what's happening really tends to undermine this by taking all the time it could've spent on building that to instead work this out. As well as an utterly moronic finale that doesn't do this any favors by preparing for an unwanted sequel, these here hold this one down.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language and Graphic Violence.
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