November 24, 2020 Deathcember (Movie Review)
Are you ready for a really haunted holiday season? If so, Shout Studios and Scream Factory wraps Deathcember in a blood-drenched gift box available for cryptic viewing on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 on Digital Platforms before hitting Cable and VOD a week later on Tuesday, December 1st.
So what actually is Deathcember? Simplifying it, it is the world’s first cinematic Advent calendar inspired film. A modern day Horror film, you get 24 short films from different filmmakers around the world, one for each day of the calendar. A very interesting concept, the anthology features work from the likes of Lucky McKee (May 2002, The Women 2011) for the They Once Had Horses segment, Pollyanna McIntosh (The Walking Dead series, Darlin’ 2019) for the Getting Away From It All segment, along with legendary Italian Director Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust 1980, House on the Edge of the Park 1980) for the Casetta Sperduta in Campagna segment, just to name a few.
With 24 nerve fraying plot twists behind numbered doors, Deathcember tics off each day before Christmas with a nightmarish stories of gruesome proportions. In fact, for its 2 hours and 25 minutes running time your emotions are in flux between anxiety and dread. Never certain how the plot will unfold, you are torn between feeling repulsed, but yet magnetically attracted to the images that flit across the wide screen. With so much material to absorb, one particular short that strikes a chord is Michael Varrati’s (Tales of Poe 2014, Flesh for the Inferno 2015) All Sales Fatal. Possessing a dark humor those who work in retail can appreciate, this little nightmare has a deadly outcome with a hilarious twist.
In truth, each short that makes up Deathcember can stand alone strongly and vividly showcases the savage nature hidden in the darkest corner of the mind. Bringing everything together, the opening of the film, plus the transition between one door to the next, is ingeniously done. Bringing it all together, the creepy music that accompanies each scene is vital in creating an atmosphere of suspense, while in some scenes, Christmas carols provide a snow shower of dark comic relief. And if that were not enough, there are plenty of familiar names making of the massive cast including Horror film favorites such as Barbara Magnolfi (Suspiria 1977, The Sister of Ursula 1978), Tiffany Shepis (Tromeo and Juliet 1997, Victor Crowley 2017), and Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator 1985, From Beyond 1986).
If you are some who enjoys a macabre version of Christmastime, than Deathcember is certainly your cup of spiced tea. Keep it for yourself or gift it to a friend who loves a box of confectionary horror. With no visions of sugar plums dancing here, Cryptic Rock gives Deathcember 5 out of 5.