Personally I find the Norwegian title (Yuleblod) creates more of an impact than its English transcription, but everything else about this film translates superbly for the wider audience, and is a great addition to the Sydney Underground Film Festival.
Director Reinert Kiil (great name for a horror director by the way) is no stranger to the genre, cutting his art with a distinctive Nordic vibe throughout his credits thus far.
The premise of this movie has a killer Santa on the loose, murdering his victims with his trusty pickaxe during the festive season every year. For those who might be turned off by this premise, or are still recovering from the scars that Silent Night, Deadly Night produced in the 80’s, fear not. Kiil delivers a fun, psychological, slasher movie that doesn’t shy away from its nostalgic roots whilst still delivering the sucker punch that fans of the subgenre will love.
Part of Christmas Blood’s lure is in the way it plays its straight and by setting the scene in his childhood town of NordKapp, Kiil is able to draw on what he knows for the setting of Santa’s most recent rampage.
All the hallmarks are there, Killer soundtrack with metal riffs and the psychotic Santa even has his own theme for when he bears down on his next victim, which Kiil does through the use of POV to both direct and on occasion misdirect the audience.
There’s also the stranded females in an isolated location, waiting to be picked off one by one, and Kiil does a great job in making us questions who if anyone will survive. And let’s not forget the hard-boiled alcoholic detective who has been through this before and is destined to try and bring down Santa once and for all, accompanied by the brash, new upstart detective who is hoping to leave his mark in hunting down the notorious serial killer.
And there are plenty of gruesome kills to satiate fans of the slasher genre.
Kiil takes the viewer where others have dared to tread but rarely succeeded and offers a decent stab at the slasher horror genre with some yuletide flavour. Expect a fun-ride, great kills, and a Santa who is completely off his sleigh.
- Saul Muerte
SATURDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER – 11PM