"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."
Christmas movies, new and old, have served the purpose of perpetuating delicate human-ness and emotions. That, or they are just jam-packed of sheer jubilee corniness that you can't help but enjoy the perfect wintery world of romance, comedy, and twinkling lights before you. However, instead of relishing in the dazed, perfection that is a Christmas movie, and in honor of the remake of Black Christmas dropping in theaters this holiday, I would rather spend this Christmas talking about some of my favorite alternate (or horror) Christmas films.
Christmas horror films are one of the best sub-genre's of horror, right there along with comedy-horror. There's something magical about taking something positive and quaint, like the feeling of the holiday season, and meshing it with a little bit (or a lot a bit) of gore, that makes fans, like myself, have the best time.
One of the newer alternate Christmas movies that has come to pass is Anna and the Apocalypse (2017- which can be found currently on HULU.) It mixes a load of some of my favorite things- musicals, zombies, comedy, and gore. Yes, this film is a musical zom-com, and I loved it! This fast and fun plot is a great horror film to enjoy on a Saturday night in.
The film follows Anna (Ella Hunt), a high school senior ready to take a year off after graduating to travel. She is accompanied by her best friend, John (Malcolm Cumming), when the zombie apocalypse breaks out in their small, Scottish town. Most of the plot follows the teens and their friends in their attempt to find their loved ones and race out of town to safety. All the while, they are breaking out into song and dance and gruesomely murdering zombies.
When the film first broke out into song, I was thoroughly shocked, but it only made the experience that much better. The catchy, simple pop songs about unrequited feelings and murdering monsters are like the anti-Christmas anthems of this film. The technicality and direction of the movie, and the action sequences, are full of so much fun. The gore is terrifically graphic and the zombies craft are to die for. There are scenes in a Christmas tree factory, a bowling alley, and arcade ball pits, making this film never dull. It kind of reminds me of Shaun of the Dead, with it's eccentric, funky ways that the characters kill zombies. The breakout performances in the middle of the bloody chaos only add to the excited and energetic feel of the cinematography, and even though their not number 1 hit singles, there are 2 specific songs of this film that serve no other purpose than elevating the film and entertaining the audience in the best way possible.
The comedy in this film lands mostly on the musical numbers and the killings, but there are some genuinely great moments of comedy that will stick with me, like the scene of Shaun and Nick leaving the bar at the beginning of Shaun of the Dead. The performances of the film are not standout, but the actors have a chemistry that is undeniably heart-warming. The musical finale definitely ices the cake of this preposterously abundant and over-the-top film.
What else is heartwarming in this film is the plot. Through all of the pg-13 music and hilarity, there are some genuinely heartbreaking and humane moments in the film that can always be found in a good zom-com and a great Christmas movie. Anna has complex and loving relationships with the people around her. Chris and Lisa's relationship and Steph (Sarah Swire) as an overall character all share beautifully touching moments that still capture the air of love and family. This film is a great alternate viewing for Christmas time for you and friends. It's definitely one I'll personally be revisiting next year.
Jacindable Rating: ★★★½
starring, Ella Hunt, Malcolm Cumming, Sarah Swire, Christopher Leveaux, Ben Wiggins, Marli Siu, Mark Benton, Paul Kaye, and more
written and directed by, Alan McDonald, Ryan McHenry, and John McPhail
My name is Jacinda, and I am a film lover and student. Check out more of my pieces at Flipscreened!
Go Check Out FilmForThought Reviews!