I finally watched Christmas Evil, which seems to be on everyone's Christmas horror list, for the first time today. It wasn't as good as I was expecting it to be, but it got me into the Christmas spirit.
A young boy, Harry, sees his mommy with Santa Claus - and they're not just kissing. Naturally, he is traumatized by this (who wouldn't be traumatized by seeing their parents...doing stuff together...except the only thing Santa does is run his hands up mommy's thighs...). I suppose he's just traumatized by finding out that Santa isn't real. Anyway, this scars him for life and years later he works in a toy factory and is gradually going crazy. And on Christmas Eve, he reaches his breaking point and transforms himself into Santa, delivering presents to good children and has something very special for the naughty adults.
The pace of this film was pretty slow. Nothing really happens until halfway through the movie, except for Harry's descent into madness, shown by lots of crazy laughter and other odd behaviour. And when the murders happen, there are only a few of them, shown in two brief scenes, with very little gore.
Harry is portrayed as a good guy for most of the movie (albeit a bit whacko), stealing toys from the toy factory where he works to give to sick kids in the hospital and always being nice to the neighbourhood kids (except the naughty ones), etc. And I ended up really liking him, even though he's a psycho, and feeling sorry for him. Brandon Maggart (father of Fiona Apple!) does an amazing job as Harry, making me feel empathy for him and playing a believable psycho at the same time.
Christmas Evil was Christmas-y in a different way than the previous Christmas movies I've reviewed. It's about the true spirit of Christmas - giving. Harry steals from the greedy toy factory to give to children who will be in the hospital for Christmas. Even the people he kills are selfish, greedy jerks.
Although it was slow and didn't have many kills or any gore, Christmas Evil gets you in the Christmas spirit and makes you want to give, which is pretty good for a horror movie.