RJ Bayley Reviews: Santa’s Slay

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It would be particularly Scrooge-like to not give Santa’s Slay a fair chance, despite the involvement of Brett ‘X-Men ruiner’ Ratner. Afterall, Santa’s Slay really wants to be the ideal festive horror, it just gets incredibly lost along the way.

The central conceit, as is with so many Christmas horrors, is that of a psycho Santa. Unlike Silent Night, Deadly Night or Christmas Evil however, this is the legit Santa: the son of Satan who’s spent the last 1000 years being forced to be the Santa we know after losing a bet with an angel.

Bill Goldberg is very well cast, playing a really hammy, mean Santa archetype. He’s exactly what we want to see in an unpleasant  Father Christmas in a role which is very forgiving, if not benefiting from, his very clunky performance.

The rest of the film around him however, is very confused. Clearly the film focuses on the violence Santa gifts people with, however it’s very muted and combined with the strong comedic tone it comes across as a live action Looney Tune. It all feels rather child, or at least family, friendly.

There’s nothing wrong with a family friendly horror film (get the kids started early I say) but suddenly we’re shown a generous parade of boobies that totally usurps the family friendly nature of the movie. I understand there’s a tradition of boobies in trashy horror films, but if we’re going to have the rating raised by their plentiful presence, why are they short-changing us on the violence? As a result we’re left with a live-action cartoon with lots of boobies; something you can’t enjoy on a family friendly level, nor on an adult blood n’ boobs level. A real shame as Goldberg’s Santa really deserves a better vehicle.

★★

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