Review #1: Sint
Sint (2010) was written and directed by Dick Maas. Egbert Jan Weeber, Bert Luppes, Caro Lenssen, Huub Stupel, and Escha Tanihatu star.
On December 5, 1492, after St. Nicholas and his cronies are killed after raiding a village and killing several people. Every December 5th with a full moon hence, St. Nicholas returns and goes on a murder spree. Over time the village grows into the sprawling city of Amsterdam and the politicians and police begin to cover up the massacres so they don’t panic. In the present day, a cop who survived a previous massacre when he was a child decides to do everything he can to stop St. Nicholas once and for all.
One thing you should know is Sint is a Danish film with subtitles. Although, I’ve never been annoyed myself when I’ve had to read translated dialogue on the screen, some others may feel differently. You should also be aware that one scene in this film involves two characters in blackface. In Amsterdam, blackface isn’t seen as racist, although attitudes around it are starting to change.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. While its described as a horror comedy, there really isn’t much humor, and the little bit there is falls flat. But the horror part of the picture is done pretty well. There’s some suspenseful scenes and some pretty good scares and kills.
The acting is pretty good for a low-budget horror film. The story is intriguing and moves along at a good pace. The reverence that Amsterdam has for St. Nicholas is an interesting contrast to the horror he generates in the rest of the movie. The make-up for St. Nicholas is well done and really lends itself to the evil man he is. The effects for the various deaths are pretty well done. They appear to be mostly practical effects with some CGI to enhance the blood. The climax is pretty well done leading to an ending that actually wraps things up pretty well.
I would recommend Sint (aka Saint) (2010), especially if you like Christmas horror. It’s an interesting foreign horror from a country you don’t see a lot of movies come from. You can currently stream it on Hulu.
Review #2: Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work
A Nasty Piece of Work is part of Blumhouse’s Into the Dark series that streams on Hulu. It was written by Paul Soter and directed by Charles Hood. Molly Hagan, Natalie Hall, Kyle Howard, Dustin Milligan, Julian Sands, and Angela Sarafyan star.
Ted and Gavin, along with their respective wives are invited to the boss’s house for a Christmas party. However, it turns out that Steven intends for Ted and Gavin to compete for a promotion. Things soon go off the rails.
This was a pretty fun installment of the Into the Dark series. Examining the horrors that men are capable of committing on others is always something I find fascinating. It’s one of the reasons I’m so fascinated by The Purge series. The casting was perfect. You have the rich, spoiled wife who likes to taunt her husband for excitement. You have the guy so desperate for money he’s a hair trigger away from exploding. The other guy is deep in debt to live a lifestyle he can’t afford. Ted’s wife is a mediator, while Gavin’s wife is a greedy bitch who depends on her looks. They all make for fascinating characters to watch.
The story is fast paced and keeps you on your toes as you never know what’s going to happen next. The depravity rich people are capable of is in full display here. Where the movie falters is the ending. It’s too abrupt and doesn’t build up well. I would’ve liked to see the end stretched out a little more.
I would definitely recommend Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work. While the ending could use some work, it’s a fun, nail-biting ride getting there. You can stream it on Hulu now.
Review #3: Silent Night
Silent Night, a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984), was written by Jayson Rothwell and directed by Steven C. Miller. Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Rick Skene, Ellen Wong, Brendan Fehr star.
During the Christmas season in a town in Wisconsin, a man dressed as Santa Claus goes on a murder spree. Only Aubrey, a slightly inept town cop can stop him.
Like I said this is a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984), but it only has a few moments in common with the original, other than the killer Santa. There’s a scene where a character’s grandfather gives him a warning to avoid Santa. There’s a re-enactment of the antler kill. And a character homages Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 ( ), by mentioning garbage day. And in this version, the killer is a random, although he was traumatized as a child.
For a remake, this film isn’t too bad. In all honesty, with the exception of the reminders to the original, it really stands on its own. The cast is pretty good, although there is definitely some bad acting. Jaime King makes for a decent Final Girl. She struggles to be a good cop, living up to the example of her father, while constantly being put down by her boss. It’s interesting to watch her character grow throughout the movie. Although some of the decisions her character makes are just dumb.
The story is pretty simple, but evenly paced. The climax was done very well and didn’t feel rushed. There weren’t any moments where I felt bored. With the exception of one brief moment, the killer was silent. We only find out his motivation for his murder spree through a couple flashbacks. Some of the kills were pretty good, although I would’ve liked to see more blood. But the special effects were nice, considering this was probably very low budget.
If you need more killer Santa’s in your life, I would recommend Silent Night (2012). But you should definitely watch the original first. It’s a cult classic for a reason.