Merry Christmas everyone!
To celebrate the festive season, we’ve been watching this franchise, and it’s been a mixed bag. A standard 80s slasher to start em off, then one of the craziest bad movies of all time, then a boring dreadful part 3, then an interesting but flawed body horror movie, and finally…a “Halloween 3” ripoff? What?
This is a house-of-cards movie, where if you can imagine events happening even very slightly differently, the villain’s grand plan doesn’t make it past the first ten minutes. Plus, it’s absolutely packed with red herrings, like, more than I’ve ever seen in a movie. A kid witnesses his parents having sex (red herring no.1), then goes downstairs to find someone’s left a present on his doorstep. He takes it in, leaving the door open (no.2) and is about to open it when his Dad comes downstairs and sends him to bed with a flea in his ear. The toy is an evil Santa doll, and kills the Dad without the moron kid, who witnesses all this, thinking either of saving him or calling the Mum, who’s presumably still awake.
Two weeks later! So, that scene, with its well-trimmed house and presents already under the tree, was at least two weeks before Christmas? Huh? We do get an unusual and interesting choice at this point – the neighbours of this afflicted family are Kim (the star of part 4) and Lonnie (the kid she nearly killed at the end). Even though she’d at least have been questioned by the police about all the deaths and disappearances, she’s fine and was amazingly granted custody of her dead ex-boyfriend’s little brother – anyway, Clint “Gentle Ben” Howard also pops up briefly, despite having been eaten by giant larvae in the last movie.
Mickey Rooney, who wrote a letter of condemnation to the producers of part 1 (there was a huge furore over its release, evil Santas frightening kids and all that), evidently remembered that he liked money more than he liked having principles, so he’s the guy in charge of the local toy shop, Joe Petto. Plus, he’s got a son called Pino. I’ll let those names sink in a moment. If you were thinking it’s just a fun little pun, it’s not, it’s literally the plot of the movie.
Perhaps the biggest red herring of all is the behaviour of Noah, who we meet as a mall Santa but evidently has some sort of connection to the kid and his mother. If you can compare his behaviour before his reveal to the person he is after it and make any sense of it at all, you’re a better person than I. Bonus points for “dead husband? What dead husband?” behaviour from the wife, too. Talking of the kid, he’s one of the most rotten child actors I’ve ever seen, and coming from someone who hates 99% of all child actors (I’ll give you Bobb’e J Thompson and a very small amount of Culkin), he’s right down at the bottom of the pile. Show an emotion, you little idiot!
Anyway, killer toys, whodunnit, etc. Because basically the entire film has been a series of fakeouts, the actual resolution to the film is thoroughly confusing. Who actually did the murders? It’s not the last bad guy standing, that’s for sure. Why is the person who made the toys not working for the Army, because he can turn a toy plane into a killing machine? What would’ve happened if the Dad hadn’t died as a result of that first toy?
I’m sure most Hollywood scriptwriters are smart people. Most of them went to college, they’ll have had extensive training, guidebooks on how to lay out movies, all that stuff. I don’t want to demean their ability, particularly, but I look at this movie with its structure designed to confuse and annoy, its fakeouts and red herrings, its ending that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and I think, how did this make it to the screen? Okay, the final final reveal is a way OTT image, pretty funny, but in no way does it make up for what’s gone before. At least it sucks in a new and interesting way though!
Rating: thumbs down