A film that uniquely celebrates the Christmas holiday, "A Christmas Horror Story" is just want horror fans have been asking for. An anthology of loosely connected stories that are inspired by the season...to various degrees of success. Two of the stories are obviously connected to holiday lore, the third story's holiday or religious inspiration makes enough sense for me, but the the fourth story could honestly have taken place any time of the year. This doesn't change the fact that they're all pretty entertaining stories, ranging from serious to over the top fun. This isn't the best movie and it could have been better given the material to work with, but it is still better than not.
As I mentioned, "A Christmas Horror Story" is made up of four separate stories that are loosely connected by a single character in a different story. The first story is about three high school students that break into their school on Christmas Eve to film a documentary, the second is about a family that is hunted by the Christmas spirit Krampus, another story is about a police officer who takes his wife and young son out to find a Christmas tree on private property and the horrors that follow after his son goes missing, and the fourth and final story line is about Santa Claus defending himself against his elves after they become ill and turn into bloodthirsty, profanity spewing zombies. William Shatner even guest stars as a radio DJ who makes references to some of the events taking place throughout the film.
It is unavoidable for anyone watching "A Christmas Horror Story" to begin comparing it to the Halloween themed film "Trick 'r Treat". Both take place on a beloved holiday, both have characters that tie the different stories together, and each has several recognizable themes related specifically to their holiday. One film is clearly stronger and more fulfilling than the other but both films can still be appreciated. An interesting side note: the director of "Trick 'r Treat", Michael Dougherty, released his holiday horror-comedy "Krampus" the same year that "A Christmas Horror Story" came out.
"A Christmas Horror Story" may not have much value in watching more than once. The scenes cut from one story to the next quickly and randomly, and then suddenly wrap up a bit too early. The story involving William Shatner was fun and provides a satisfying ending for the film. Recommended for anyone looking for a lite horror film for the holiday season