Christmas may be over but the blood continues to flow in holiday-themed slasher Christmas Blood, also known by its original title Juleblod, which is now available from Artsploitation Films. Wannabe Santas on murderous rampages certainly aren't anything new when it comes to horror, but they're certainly one of my favorite genre tropes!
With Yuletide cult classics such as Silent Night, Deadly Night, Santa's Slay, and Christmas Evil, horror fans have no shortage of demented, holiday carnage when "the most wonderful time of the year" rolls around. Now, Norwegian filmmaker Reinert Kiil aims to add Christmas Blood to that sacred list of essential holiday horror flicks.
Initially released in Norway on November 2nd, 2017, the film follows a group of young friends looking to make the most of their Christmas Eve in an isolated and snowy small town. Unfortunately for them, a psychopath donning a Santa Claus suit and wielding an axe (which must be slasher Santa's favorite weapon) has just escaped custody. Intent on completing his 13-year-long murdering spree, the serial-killing Saint Nick wastes no time whatsoever in returning to his homicidal hobby. Hoping to catch the seemingly unstoppable lunatic, a gung-ho detective and his grizzled, alcoholic partner are on the case and determined to bring an end to the vicious killings before all of Norway is painted red.
It would be easy to brush Christmas Blood off as just another cookie-cutter holiday slasher, with its somewhat generic plot and typical genre tropes that ran their course throughout the '80s, but the film makes the most of its age-old elements by perfectly executing minor details and giving slasher fans what they desire most: gruesome kills, a high body count and god-willing, a bitchin' score. All of which Christmas Blood delivers!
Being that this specific town in Norway experiences several days of pure darkness, similar to Alaska, the film boasts an effectively creepy atmosphere, even if some scenes seem a bit under-lit. I can't say much in terms of acting, as most of the cast member are simply tasked with bickering, partying and screwing until they reach their demise. Ironically, most of the characters are likable despite their unoriginal roles, this is due to the cast's irrefutable charm. In regards to the the killer himself, he's silent, merciless and quite an intimidating presence, almost like Michael Myers in a Santa suit.
Overall, I definitely enjoyed my time with Christmas Blood. Kiil handled the film with heart and an undeniable appreciation of the slasher genre. Featuring excellent kills, a threatening villain and a chilling atmosphere (literally), the film will satiate fans of stalk n’ slash affairs. Christmas Blood is worth a watch or two and will most likely make its way onto quiet a few yearly Christmas watchlists.