Fantasia 2016: Red Christmas

A family celebrating Christmas is tormented by a cloaked stranger in Red Christmas. Diane (Dee Wallace) is having one final Christmas with her family, before selling the family home. Unexpectedly, the family is visited by a cloaked and bandaged figure named Cletus (Sam Campbell), who is claiming to be looking for his mother. Angered at a reference to an abortion Diane had twenty years earlier, she sends Cletus away in disgust. However, it quickly turns out that Cletus cannot handle rejection very well.

Red Christmas is a holiday-set slasher film from Australian director Craig Anderson. Anderson is obviously going for a bit of a Dario Argento giallo aesthetic, with the film’s lighting consisting primarily of red and green hues. Dee Wallace (The Howling) is the only real recognizable name in the cast, though the film does feature a standout performance by Gerard O’Dwyer, an actor with Down’s Syndrome, who plays Diane’s son Jerry.

Red Christmas is indeed a very stylistic slasher film, with Cletus killing off the family members in many creative and gory ways, including being cut in half with an axe, getting a bear trap to the head, or getting stabbed in the head with an umbrella. Even though he’s the antagonist, Cletus ends up being the most sympathetic character, especially after his backstory is revealed. While the film doesn’t have too much substance to match its style, Red Christmas is a slasher film that should satisfy the gorehounds.

7 / 10 stars



Liked this? Help support Sean Kelly and his writing about film on Patreon!

Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).