MFR Rating: ★ ★
If you’re scared of cries that Christmas is just around the corner then maybe Saint is for you. Christmas is scary. It takes the idea of evil Santa and brings it back to its more traditional roots by looking at the roots of St Nicholas to create this Dutch horror flick. The film begins in the 15th century to show the origins St Nicholas’ need for revenge. The film then moves to 1970s Amsterdam and shows the bloodthirsty manner in which St Nic evokes his revenge every time there’s a full moon on his own Saints day. The film follows, a high school kid as he gets himself caught up in the slasher-gore mayhem. His story collides with that of a cop who witnessed his family slashed to death in the 70s and desperately tries to persuade others that St Nic is more than just a myth.
The film’s problem is that Director Dick Mass creates something that just seems rather boring, something that really shouldn’t be a problem given the premise. At around 80 minutes it did drag with few entertaining set pieces providing the only relief, including the evil, zombie, Santa riding on top of buildings whilst being hopelessly chased by the police down below.
The film never quite got under the skin of what is so creepy about the legend of an old man sneaking into kids homes and all the imagination that comes with it. Instead it sort of tries to be a bit of a revenge story which never feels particularly strong. It also tries to play on a lot of dark comedy but it all falls rather flat and fails to be either scary or funny enough. With the exception of the aforementioned building chase, the budget does feel rather minuscule, especially during the opening 15th century scene which looks like a more gory historical re-enactment you might find on a high school history DVD.
Still, it’s an interesting take on the Christmas movie and it’s watchable enough but sadly this time around, Santa doesn’t quite manage to deliver.
Review by David Rank