Director – Mike McMurran (Demon Bitch, Beneath)
Starring – Annette Wozniak (Bite, Paranormal Witness), Geoff Almond (Demon Bitch), and Keegan Chambers (Human Cattle, Art of Obsession)
Release Date – 2015
Rating – 3.5/5
With Christmas just a mere 5 days away the Christmas spirit is high in my home. My kids are dancing around the tree begging to open presents, the lights are shining bright inside and out, and holiday themed slashers are playing on the t.v. Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, and Don’t Open Till Christmas are staples in my house during the holiday season but I am always open to add more.
I recently watched Artsploitation’s release of Red Christmas and absolutely loved it. That only fueled my fire to watch more Christmas slashers. I went to my review stack and immediately pulled Wild Eye’s Secret Santa. I’ve loved the artwork ever since I first laid eyes on it. Would the movie live up to the bad ass artwork or would it be a failed slasher?
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group of college friends who decide to do a secret Santa this year to exchange gifts. With the gifts changing hands they begin to see an eerie pattern when each of them opens their gift to the surprise that they are deadly tools and household items. They don’t know how to handle their new gifts and chalk it up to one of them playing a sick prank. What they don’t know is that someone is stalking them with murderous intent and will use their new gifts against them.**Spoiler Alert**
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Secret Santa but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed this little slasher that added some fun elements to the tried and true slasher formula. I really enjoyed the acting.
The film is full of unusual and unforgettable characters. The cast is able to bring out some great personalities and really sell the film. Kudos to them.
The story for this one isn’t something that will break the slasher mold but it did offer up some fun aspects that I had never considered before. The first thing I have to commend the film on is the killer reveal. I was not expecting the killer to be who it was. It caught me off guard which is one of my favorite things about a slasher. I love the “whodunit” slashers of the late 70s and early 80s and I think this film captures that very well.
I also liked how the killer showed the victims how they would die with their Christmas gifts. This was a very unique touch that still gave the film that campy vibe that I like so much. The film does a great job at creating that slasher look and feel. With that being said, the film does have several scenes on the slower side that drags the pacing down but doesn’t affect the overall film.
Finally, the film has several amazing on screen kills. The kills are great and really put the viewer in mind of some of the kills brought to life by Tom Savini during his time on the production of Friday the 13th and Friday the 13: The Final Chapter. The effects do show the film’s budget but they still look great. Overall, Secret Santa is a fantastic slasher and does a great job channeling the 80s vibe. The kills are bloody and the killer’s twist will catch you off guard. Check it out this holiday season.