The Mean One Image

The Mean One

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | December 18, 2023

AWARD THIS 2023 NOMINEE! See beloved figures of your childhood disembowel the halls in director Steven LaMorte’s jolly Christmas horror parody The Mean One, written by Flip Kobler and Finn Kobler from a story by LaMorte. Cindy You-Know-Who (Krystle Martin) and her dad Lou (Flip Kobler) return to Newville 20 years after the horrible Christmas Eve when someone dressed as Santa broke into their house to steal presents. Cindy’s mom (Tina Van Berk) was killed trying to defend her daughter against the intruder, which little Cindy (Saphina Chanadet) described as a green monster in a Santa suit. Sheriff Hooper (Erik Baker) didn’t believe her, and the killer was never caught.

“…a green creature in a Santa costume breaks in and slaughters Lou…”

This trauma has Cindy in and out of mental hospitals with a raging case of PTSD. On advice from her therapist, Cindy comes back to Newville to confront the past. She and Lou are pulled over by Detective Burke (Chase Mullins) for having novelty reindeer antlers on their car. Sheriff Hooper has a law against displaying Christmas decorations within city limits, but he doesn’t know why, as Burke is new in town. Cindy and Burke are attracted to each other, which her father easily notices. Lou tries to cheer Cindy up that night by decorating the old house for Christmas; local laws be damned.

While Cindy takes out the garbage, a green creature in a Santa costume (David Howard Thornton) breaks in and slaughters Lou under the Christmas tree. Cindy is knocked out and wakes up in the hospital in shock. No one believes her, including Mayor McBean (Amy Schumacher), that it is the same killer. McBean informs Sheriff Hooper that she wants all talk of the killer stopped, as it would hurt the town’s growing tourism. Meanwhile, the mysterious Doctor Zeus (John Bigham) watches all of them from his car while drinking intently. Cindy goes searching for her parents’ killer while more people start being massacred by the green furry hands of the Mean One.

Yes, Virginia, The Mean One is a drinking hot cocoa out of Santa’s skull kind of movie. If you have been hankering for a blood-bag parody of the Grinch, this is as good as you could hope. The most controversial section is after the opening flashback to that bloody Christmas night. This early sequence would have easily warranted a slap in the face from my wife had I convinced her to sit in a theater for this. It will also no doubt cause many viewers to stop watching earlier than they should, as it is truly an atrocious sight.

The Mean One (2022)

Directed: Steven LaMorte

Written: Flip Kobler, Finn Kobler, Steven LaMorte

Starring: David Howard Thornton, Krystle Martin, Chase Mullins, Flip Kobler, Erik Baker, Amy Schumacher, John Bigham, Saphina Chanadet, Tina Van Berk, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Mean One Image

"…a drinking hot cocoa out of Santa's skull kind of movie."

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