Yule be sorry


2 Stars  2006/15/81m

“It all began so innocently.”

Director / Writer: Paolo Sedazzari / Cast: Claudine Spiteri, Elliott Jordan, Craig Henderson, Suzanne Bertish, Christopher Terry, Heather Chasen, Peter Ellis.

Body Count: 6

Dire-logue: “I want someone to notice my breasts.”

Disclaimer: This is the best I can do for for a festive-themed slasher film this year. And there’s no way I’m sitting through Christmas Evil again.

Ignore the DVD cover, nothing that awesome happens in this regional British trip into the surreal.

As children, siblings Berenice and Brian Usher shared a wild imagination and cherished their alone time in their country cottage so they could act out their adventures and, when things went awry, she would lock him in their toybox (that’s it for title relevance).

Several years later, Berenice brings her boyfriend Conrad home with her from university for an Usher Family Christmas. After meeting her Russ Abbott-fan father, her sex-starved mother and dotty dead-husband-obsessed grandmother, Conrad wishes he had never agreed to come with her. Then there’s Brian, grown up but just as odd as he always was.

What ensues is, for the most part, nonsensical garbage concerning stories of a mythical killer who prowled the Norfolk and Suffolk border, sacred amulets, ghosts, witchcraft and a zombie master disguised as the local vicar. In short, it’s crap.

Again: don’t be fooled, it merely looks good in still form

After nearly an hour of this tedium, in which the family constantly bicker and we take detours into flashbacks of the kids’ childhood imaginary eccentricities, Brian, feeling rejected by Berenice, eventually goes apeshit and starts killing everybody, although it must be stated that nearly all the murders occur off-screen, making it a rather dry kill spree.

Energetic direction and photography attempts to paper over the evident crevices in the plotting and the initially dreadful acting, which somehow becomes less noticeable as the weirdness of the Usher clan unfolds to stunned bystander Conrad, the only likeable character. Suzanne Bertish is, however, fun as the graceless mother, Madeline.

There’s one semi-creepy bit that’ll be lost on anybody not British or under 30, which is Brian’s singy-songy answerphone message, the theme to Russ Abbott’s old clipshow (“Songs of joy and tears of laughter…” etc), sung VERY slowly.

There are so many unanswered questions by the time the credits mercifully roll: Who was the man with the dog? Why was there a clown sat on the toilet? Why did they think the Vicar was a zombie?

Rubbish, but interestingly made rubbish and certainly like no other slasher film you’ll have seen, or indeed will ever see.


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