Mrs. Claus (2018) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Mrs. Claus (2018) Review

Horrorific content by jessicagomez on December 14th, 2018 | Movie Review | Christmas, Holiday, Christmas - Slasher

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It’s about a psycho slasher dressed as Mrs. Claus who terrorizes a group of college kids at a Christmas party.

Mrs. Claus was directed by Troy Escamilla and stars Helene Udy (from Pin), Brinke Stevens (from The Ritual) and Kaylee Williams (from Slices of Life).

You won't be going home for Christmas!

Mrs. Claus Review

It's the most wonderful time of the year - to watch Christmas horror films, of course. Mrs. Claus was graphic, sinister, and festive; what more could you ask for this Christmas?

The first ten minutes were devoted to showing the hazing of pledge Angela from her sorority sisters, namely President Amber, and it made me extremely uncomfortable - the brazenness of the sisters while committing what amounts to a strange sort of sexual abuse put me on edge. Was I accidentally watching a snuff film? Fear not - the beginning is as bad as it gets when it comes to sexual overtones.

After a Christmas prank that involves Amber humiliating Angela in front of guests and reigniting her hazing abuses, the bullying has come to a head. Writer/Director Troy Escamilla made certain that we knew that Amber was a pretty nasty person inside, and that the hazing was something she truly enjoyed and would continue to torment her sisters with. After a two-minute-too-long crying scene, Angela finally snaps, and well, that's all she wrote for Amber. The kill scene took me by surprise; the special effects were top-notch, and the scene was effectively chilling.

Ten years later, Danielle has pledged her late sister Amber's sorority in the same house where she was murdered, and everyone thinks it's weird, because hello, it is. Word has gotten around on campus about what an evil person her sister was, but she just wants to feel closer to her. Right before Christmas, she receives an email from someone who has dubbed themselves 'Mrs. Claus', and the mystery person promises to wreak havoc on Danielle for the ten year anniversary of her sister's slaying.

Keeping to their word, Mrs. Claus goes through the sorority sisters and their love interests, murdering them one by one with a sufficiently creepy Santa Claus mask, akin to Christmas slashers of years past. She even uses Christmas items around the house for most of her murders, keeping to her festive theme.

The acting is uneven at times, as expected from a micro-budget film - but overall, the actors are believable as college students, and Escamilla scored a gem when he booked genre mavens Brinke Stevens and Helene Udy, who bring more to the screen than just a cameo. The real hero of this film is the special effects makeup artist Heather Benson; her skill level is on par with horror films with a much larger budget, and that's what elevates this film above other similar indie flicks.

What I loved most about this film is its commentary on fraternity and sororities, and what they're bestowing upon impressionable teenagers. Tyler took on the role of explaining the societal issues in the most direct way - our words and our actions have real consequences, and while no one is condoning murder, he understands that the bullying Angela suffered was enough to make her break. What are we doing, allowing these breakdowns of mental health? What happens within the minds of these abused students? Are we really surprised that one of them snapped? Don't worry, horror fans - Mrs. Claus is as gory and fun as it is thoughtful. Revenge is a dish best served cold...

No one is safe in Mrs. Claus, and the writers did a great job keeping you guessing at who the killer really was. Think Silent Night, Deadly Night with a sprinkle of Scream, and you'll find that watching this brings enough nostalgia to keep you feeling warm and toasty all season.

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