RJ Bayley Reviews: Treevenge

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With the likes of Silent Night, Deadly Night, Christmas Evil, Rare Exports and Santa’s Slay soundly covering the psychopathic Father Christmas angle, it was only a matter of time before other iconic festive fixtures were given the horror treatment.

Filmmakers Jason Eisener and Rob Catterill (the men behind the genius Hobo With a Shotgun) have taken up the mantle of broadening the Christmas killer collection beyond Santa and snowmen with one of the least anthropomorphic yuletide mainstains. The title says it all; the revenge of the Christmas trees, brutally farmed, attacked, mutilated and humiliated for human pleasure.

Treevenge is immediately a cut above the rest. Aping the messages of films of the cannibal boom, with the unmistakable Cannibal Holocaust score, Treevenge depicts the peaceful, simple, lives of forest dwellers being violently and savagely invaded, rent apart for the shallow pleasures of so-called civilised beings. In this case however the forest dwellers are the forest itself.

Care is taken to depict every stage the Christmas tree is subjected to as barbarically as possible. Use of POV surrounded by foliage is not only amusing but genuinely amps up the horror. This is greatly assisted by the slavering, OTT evil Christmas tree professionals in characterisations straight from Hobo With a Shotgun.

This is also protracted long enough for the audience to be fully sympathetic to the quivering trees when they finally revolt. Eisener and Cotterill once again delight in fully embracing what one end of the horror spectrum is all about; absolute transgression with a gleeful smile. There’s a fantastic manic energy and abandon to the very bloody finale, with one moment literally making me spit my Christmas spiced tea out. All this is glazed with that Hobo With a Shotgun scrunginess that works even better here due to the absurd subject matter. Treevenge is a real Christmas cracker.

★★★★

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