The Nights Before Christmas – Review

As if Christmas isn’t stressful enough, imagine trying to enjoy the holidays when there are two homicidal maniacs after you. That’s the situation our plucky young protagonists find themselves in as the evil Santa (Simon Phillips) and Mrs Claus (Sayla de Goede) return to dish out some bloodthirsty revenge. With the FBI hot on their heels, the dastardly duo look to tick off who’s been naughty from their list in this Christmas slash fest.

The Nights Before Christmas is director Paul Tanter’s sequel to his 2017, Once Upon a Time at Christmas. While it would be beneficial to have seen the first one, it isn’t essential. Tanter and Phillips’s story works as a stand-alone film. The flashbacks provide enough information to fill in audiences and it’s easy to invest in the well-rounded characters without feeling you’re missing out.

Kate Schroder’s FBI agent, Parker, hits the right amount of tropes for the genre, without coming across as mere fodder while Keegan Chambers Courtney offers more than a damsel in distress. The standouts are Phillips and de Goede who bring a maniacal glee to their characters. This is the sort of horror that invites you to have fun and it’s clear the two leads are having a wonderful time as they hack their way across the scene like a festive Joker and Harley.

The kills themselves are entertaining and inventive as the plot builds to its climax. There are a few twists and turns to keep you engaged but if you’ve come for the gore alone, rest assured, there’s plenty of butchering on display to satisfy.

A fun slasher, The Nights Before Christmas is one of the better Christmas horror movies to be released in recent years. A beer and pizza film it may be, the snowy landscape is beautifully shot as the filmmakers create an authentic winter wonderland. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and never apologises for its insanity. You better be good, for goodness sake.

Available now on DVD and VOD.

Thomas Simpson
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