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Red Christmas - Blu-ray Review

4 beersGet the Yuletide fears this Halloween season.  Red Christmas has arrived!

Writer/director Craig Anderson, an Australian director and actor, adds a new wrinkle to the aged skin of the slasher genre with a nightmarish twist that makes his latest film unique.  His critique of social standards as one mother – a very engaged Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, E.T., Cujo, and Critters) – fights like hell to protect her family in Red Christmas is as pointed as the blade that splits one of this new killer’s many victims right down the middle.

And that’s only one of the first kills in this family massacre that shows the darker side of family reunions.  Red Christmas, in a quick 90-minutes, delivers the sticky splatter its title promises.  Making its debut on blu-ray this week thanks to Artsploitation, Red Christmas can also be seen on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Vudu, and more.

Starring Wallace as Diane, the matriarch of this estranged family, Anderson’s movie is about one family’s final opportunity to gather at the home of their childhood, an isolated Outback estate.  Diane is selling.  She’s made yet another tough decision but her mind is settled.  It’s time to move on and this Christmas gathering is her last attempt to bring all her brother, her daughters – one pregnant and one religious – and one son (with Down syndrome) together again. 

And then a hooded Cletus (Sam Campbell) arrives.  With him, he brings a mysterious note and, once invited in, he reads it to the arguing members of Diane’s family.  The letter is addressed to his mother and its contents, once spilled out, confuses those who hear his confession as he seeks forgiveness for what he’s about to do. 

But only one family member reacts.  And Diane’s reaction to Cletus’ slobbered reading of his letter speaks volumes.  Co-starring Geoff Morrell, Sarah Bishop, Janis McGowan, David Collins, Bjorn Stewart, and Gerald Odwyer, Red Christmas, while not as fantastic as Black Christmas or Silent Night, Deadly Night, is definitely not a lump of coal.

Cletus reveals himself to be no one to mess with and he forces Diane to make a series of choices throughout the rest of the night.  And the choices have deadly consequences.  The chaos that collapses around the household is one full of blood and danger.  Then the killing begins.  One. By. One. 

The horror film would probably be more on the forgettable side of the dial had Anderson dropped the ball on the direction.  Thankfully, he does not.  From beginning to end, this film is built on intelligence and efficiency.  It is also damn colorful, too, as the family who find themselves under siege in their own home wind up lit by strong greens and reds while Cletus does his work in the shadows. 

This apt horror film is not for the weak of heart and the very committed performance from Dee Wallace is one that rips out your soul with a heartbreaking earnestness while you high five the closest body – alive or dead – sitting next to you.  Wallace adds a depth to the performance and absolutely loves what she is doing and is on fire throughout the story and – as she is very physical in the role – brings back memories of what she did so rightfully splendid in the horror films from my youth.  Yeah, she still rocks in the genre, firing shotguns and kicking all sorts of ass.  Cujo might be long gone but she’s acting like that nasty dog is on the prowl once again.

Spread the cheer this season, Horror Hounds, and slip all the Gore-Gore Ghouls you know a copy of Red Christmas.  It makes one hell of a stocking stuffer.


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Red Christmas - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
88 mins
: Craig Anderson
Craig Anderson
Dee Wallace, Geoff Morrell, Sarah Bishop
: Horror
This Christmas, the only thing under the tree is terror.
Memorable Movie Quote: "And here I thought this would be so easy."
Theatrical Distributor:
Artsploitation Films
Official Site: http://www.redxmas.com/Home.html
Release Date:
August 25, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 10, 2017
Synopsis: Horror legend Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, E.T., Cujo, Critters) stars as the stressed-out mother of a squabbling family, gathered together in a remote Outback estate on Christmas Eve. When a mysterious, deformed young man named Cletus appears at their door, things soon change from petty insults to bloody, imaginatively orchestrated violence as Wallace attempts to protect her family from the vengeful intruder. The film deliriously infuses comedy, dark family secrets with outlandish gore and adds the always controversial subject of abortion in its blood-stained mix.


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Red Christmas - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Artsploitation Films
Available on Blu-ray
- October 10, 2017
Screen Formats: 2.25:1
English: 5.1 surround
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, Artsploitation brings this horror film home with a crisp transfer that absolutely honors this beautifully lit film.  The details are intoxicating bathed under all the single Christmas hues.  Solid blues, reds, greens, and yellows are solid and, at times, inspirational.  Such levels of bold colors haven’t been seen since Hooper’s Eaten Alive or Argento’s Suspiria.  Black levels are equally consistent.  The sound is immersive in its quality and features a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track.



  •  A feature-length commentary with writer/director Craig Anderson is included with the release.

Special Features:

Also included with the release is a solid collection of interesting interviews with Dee Wallace, Gerald Odwyer, and Craig Anderson himself.  Anderson and actor Sam Campbell interview Odwyer.  Anderson tackles Wallace solo.  A deleted scene is included as well as a 30-minute blooper reel.

  • Dee Wallace Speaks (20 min)
  • An Interview with Gerard Odwyer (10 min)
  • Blooper Reel (3 min)
  • Deleted scene (1 min)
  • Craig Anderson Mini-Interview (2 min)


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Red Christmas - Blu-ray Review