Four words: Santa Claus horror movie. Ok, it’s not quite that simple, but that’s the essential premise of Danish director Dick Maas’s (“The Shaft”) latest flick, a silly slasher with some truly enjoyable special effects and a lack of substance that’s both unabashed and, well, jolly.
The premise is straight out of American meta-horror films of the 1980s: a group of nubile young students is hunted down by an evil version of St. Nicolas, who turns out to have been a bishop who murdered children for fun hundreds of years ago. “Saint” opens with a scene in which the angry medieval townsfolk get their revenge on St. Nick and his band of marauders. As he’s burned to death, the monstrous bishop vows revenge on the people of Amsterdam.
Flash forward a few hundred years and all the pieces are in place for 88 minutes of campy fun: a disgruntled cop on the verge of solving the mystery, the aforementioned nubile coeds, and a chiseled male protagonist, who is gradually forced to admit the supernatural nature of what he’s dealing with.
While Maas’s film struggles a bit to stay upright, balanced as it is on a very thin premise, its enormous budget and over-the-top score (also by Maas) help pull it back from the realm of trash into the pantheon of tongue-in-cheek popcorn horror. If you were bored on a Sunday night, and perhaps a little tipsy, “Saint” would be a perfect way to finish off your weekend. Talk about getting into the holiday spirit!
“Saint” will be released later this year in theaters and on VOD by IFC Midnight.