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Review: John Ward’s Axemas (Start the Holiday Horror Season Right)

For a lot of us, or maybe just me, the holiday horror season officially starts the day after Halloween. Luckily, the subgenre has emerged as a huge catalog in the last decade, and this year brings yuletide fans a Christmas horror short titled Axemas. Based on the screenplay by John Ward, Axemas follows a group of young people throwing a party in a closed-for-the-night storage facility. Unfortunately, an uninvited party crasher wearing a Santa suit is stocking them one by one. Death is the gift that keeps on giving as the psychopath hacks his way through the group. Naughty or nice, they’re all on his shit list. Ashley Campbell, Dillon Weishuhn, Lindsey Cruz, Nathan Scott, Kamiko Kawada, Mikey O’Brien, Tommy Sihavong, Miranda Dudley and John E. Seymore star in Axemas. John Ward directed and produced.

Axemas is nothing short of fun, and a great way to start the holiday horror season right. A slasher film set in the winter, Axemas is filled with sex, blood and a diabolical killer Santa. What else could you ask for? A high body count, growing suspense, and a typical survivor girl? Axemas has all of that, too. Really, its strongest point is its location, the storage facility. It’s a great venue for a bloody smackdown, and the production team here used it to their full advantage. It’s the location alone that makes me pine for a feature length adaption, but alas, it looks like a sequel short is coming out instead later this year. Axemas is an expertly wrapped, 25 minute independent horror flick that brings Christmas joy and nostalgic terror.

And that’s the thing. I’m really trying to find something to criticize here, but since Axemas is marginally independent, there’s nothing I can harp on in fairness. The acting is decent for a production of this caliber, and the film never takes itself too seriously. It features cinematography by Kurtis Aslan, editing by Morgan Wasik and Aslan, and special effects by Miranda Dudley. John Ward tried his hand at holiday horror and he succeeded… big time! It’s a feature length movie condensed into a hard hitting throwback short film and I actually think I loved it. It’s currently available on Amazon Prime in the United States and Great Britain. Thanks a lot to Reel Nightmare Films for bringing this present to my attention. Add Axemas to your seasonal viewing list for sure! Final Score: 9 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)