Murderer gets caught after terrorizing and killing people on Christmas night for the past 13 years in Norway. After being in solitary for almost six years, the psychopath escapes just a couple days before Christmas night. The police soon track the next target of the psychopath to a small village in the northernmost part of Norway. A group of friends are having a reunion in the same town and unexpectedly end up being in part of Santa’s plan.
Christmas Blood starts so promisingly. Late one night a little girl sneaks downstairs to have a look at the presents under the Christmas tree. Suddenly a noise. Is it mom or dad? No. It’s Santa. It’s Killer Santa, in fact, and he quickly adds the little darling to his naughty list before dispensing with her parents for good measure. Then faster than you can say “EggNog” this Christmas horror pic loses steam and becomes an odd mix of procedural and Norweigian Soap Opera.
“…captured and at point-blank range shot in the head a killer, who murdered ‘bad’ people on Christmas.”
Reinert Kiil’s Christmas Blood is an average, uneven thriller set against the harsh, windswept snowbanks of northern Norway. The film attempts to tell the story of an escaped murderer dressed in a Santa suit, the group he is after, and the cop trying to stop him. What we get is cabin fever melodrama bookended by a few good kills.
The film starts with the aforementioned triple murder. Fun enough. Then we soon learn the backstory of our killer. After a nasty killing spree that spanned the country over several years, Sgt. Henrik Hoff (Thomas Rasch) captured and at point-blank range shot in the head a killer, who murdered “bad” people on Christmas. After six years of inexplicable survival, the killer has gotten loose again and is aiming to finish his yuletide killing spree. Sondre Kroft Larsen (Terje Hansen) is hot on the trail of the crimson-clad killer as he closes in on his last clatch of victims in a rural town in northern Norway. Meanwhile, a group of young world travelers convenes on a small, but festive, cabin unaware of the Santa Killer’s impending arrival.
“He start strong, then dive into dullsville…”
Kiil’s story is a good one, but we hardly needed the backstory of our villain and his incarceration, much less his survival by lethal gunshot. Why is that there? Then have a group in danger, unaware of what is after them, and a detective with a cantankerous sage guiding him to his target. That is enough. Kiil fills easily one-third of the movie with a pointless melodrama that takes place in the cabin. He starts strong, then dives into dullsville, before capping things off with a few more plot points and satisfactory kills.
Christmas Blood is a serviceable, totally forgettable winter wonderland nightmare. There is a great setting, a so-so villain, and a thriller that moves at a “drama” pace. Props where they are due, the kills are certainly worthwhile, and the performances are nothing to sneer at. Yet for all of the remarkable effort, this film must have needed, we get little in return.
Christmas Blood (2018) Written and directed by Reinert Kiil. Starring Julianne Aga, Solje Bergman, Helene Eidsvåg, Stig Henrik Hoff, Yassmine Johansen, Jørgen Langhelle.
5 out of 10 stars