A Deadly Little Christmas (2009)

   

Co-Produced & Directed by: Novin Shakiba

Written by:
Jeremiah Campbell & Novin Shakiba

Starring:

Monique LaBarr .... Taylor
Leah Grimson .... Noel
Felissa Rose .... Mary
Samuel Nathan Hoffmire .... Devin
Anthony Campanello .... Steve
Eric Fischer .... Det. Hughes

Release Date: Direct-to-DVD:
October 6, 2009

 

 

 

Rating:

 

During Christmas morning two siblings fight over a present and then their Dad (Douglas Myers) is dressed as Santa to entertain his children. Yet afterwards he has an affair with the children's Nanny named Inga (Noa Geller) and both are stabbed to death while being caught in bed together and their son is framed for the homicide.
Many years later the mother of the family named Mary (Felissa Rose) visits her son Devin (Samuel Nathan Hoffmire) at the mental institution and tries to talk to him but he won't respond.
Meanwhile, her two daughters named Taylor (Monique LaBarr) and Noel (Leah Grimson) are preparing for a Christmas play but still wonder about their brother and the mess behind the murder of their father. When they try to talk to their mother about this she goes ballistic towards them.
Suddenly Devon escapes from the institution and Detective Hughes (Eric Fischer) tries to look for him when Mary is obsessively telling him how dangerous her son is.
Meanwhile people involved with the play are being slayed by a hooded killer wearing a mask. Not only that, it seems when someone dies this death, Mary isn't with her kids to help them out with the play and it's up to Hughes to put the missing pieces together.

 

This film looked very low budgeted barely carrying a budget plus it tried to carry in the same vein as Halloween but this one is a true ripoff. Yet it's not overly terrible and can be fun to watch but it doesn't fit in the same vein as Halloween or even Silent Night Deadly Night. At least these people tried their best with what they had.
There's a beginning on the film with shots on two children acting excited and opening presents on Christmas morning with Mary joining them. Then there's close up shots on the two kids fighting over a present which needed to be a bit more energised.
Then there's a shot on a couple fornicating with a hand stabbing the female which looked extremely phony and she looked too comfortable when she was falling dead and the male looked very phony screaming and getting stabbed. Then we spot a shot out in daylight with the killer bloodied and holding a knife outside which did not look gloomy and horrifying like it was supposed to be. Instead it looked likethe filmmakers were making a fun home video with his family.
Then on present day there's cheesy camera shots on both Mary talking to Devin acting silent and expressionless with her crying to talk to him which wasn't convincing at all.
There's a scene with Devin in a silent room and then acting crazy and then an orderly trying to grab him and shots of them struggling in which all of this looked a bit lacking but not over the top terrible.
There's a very good moment on Taylor as a director for a Christmas play with everyone gathering around as cast members talking about what to do for dress rehearsal in which all of this looked believeable.
There's a nice strong argumentive conversation between Taylor and Noel as siblings when they talk about their brother and what had happened on that Christmas day.
Next there's a discussion between Mary and Taylor as mother and daughter having a discussion about her Christmas play at a parking lot which looked natural.
There's a phony scene with two crew members from the play smoking up and acting stoned backstage which looked way too planned out. Then there's real phony shots on them being slaughtered and their reactions before dying.
There's a good scene with both Taylor and Noel trying to talk to their mother Mary about their brother in their house and then she goes crazy and overly reacts which looked like a good scene for a drawing card on who could be the actual killer in this movie even if some of the moments here looked a bit cheesy at times.
There's a good scene in the mental hospital with Mary trying to talk to both detectives blocking her and telling her what is happening and her just losing control and anxious with good shots on both her and them. Then there's a nice close up shot on Mary speaking coldly about praying that nothing happens which was overly impressive. This is the best scene in the film I found.
There's a nice shot on Steve in the street and then a nice close up shot on the hooded killer in the mask coming in to kill him in the ear.
There's a nice moment with both Taylor and Noel entering a room spotting corpses with nice screaming reactions as well as good close up shots on the dead bodies.
There's a nice showdown involving Mary, Taylor, Noel and Devin in the room which looked quite tense and well done.
So folks not all of the moments in this film were terrible just some odd spots and most of the killings especially which needed a huge improvement.
Bottom line: It was mysterious wondering who the killer actually can be I can credit them for that with nice cheesy flashback scene's which brings the puzzle together on what really happened along with a killed wearing a cheesy looking mask which I got a kick out of but at the same time the killings looked awfully phony plus you can tell the knife that was used for stabbing was a fake knife.
There's many good moments showing the teenage kids preparing for a Christmas play as well as the detecive trying to find the son that escaped from the mental asylum too.
Close to the ending was impressive too on who the killer actually is and who will survive next in order to save their necks.
So you can tell these filmmakers really tried to make this a tribute to those retro slasher flicks but with the lack of the budgeting and some of the direction it failed to do so.

Monique LaBarr (Taylor) as the oldest sibling in the film does very well with her serious attitude as the director of the Christmas play and seemed to really know her craft by portraying this part along with showing aggressions about the memories of her brother. She put everything together nicely.
Leah Grimson
(Noel) plays her younger sister and brought alot of great characteristics to her part in the film showing a nice outgoing attitude to her part. Really convincing as a nice girl but a very upfront type.
Next up we have the Sleepaway Camp horror film veteran Felissa Rose (Mary) who as usual is way too over the top. She really looked phony crying on set of the film but knew how to act disturbed at times when being questioned about her son. She also had a nice cold voice too during certain scene's of the film. Her part was necessary for the film and it's interesting by seeing her do another type of slasher film even if it's made on close to a no budgeter.
Samuel Nathan Hoffmire
(Devin) shows a good expressionelss type not saying a word and really bringing it out in the end during a confrontation scene near the end of the film. He brought out some nice characteristics even if the story was cheesy.
Anthony Compeno
(Steve) played a great detective and had the perfect looks as a clean cut big guy type. He brings out alot of spunk to his role of the film and acts very charming too. He does very well with his wide eyes and choking to death while falling to the ground spitting out blood during his death scene. I can see him getting more work in bigger shows.
Eric Fischer
(Det. Hughes) really made his part necessary as a nice teenage kid in the film bringing on a great charm which suits his part in a slasher film in which you wonder if he will be killed or not. Normally the good one's do get murdered. He had the perfect looks too.

Bit part actress Noa Geller briefly exposes her breats in a prologue scene of the film while doing a fornication.

Some phony looking bloody stabbing with blood splurting out
Bloody slit throats
A bloody stabbing in the ear
Bloodied dead bodies

There's very trashy high pitched icy sounding synthesizer playing which sounds overly annoying alot of the times as well as the odd low piano pounding as composed Jason Peri tried to make it sound like a traditional slasher theme type of music but didn't go very far with it. However, he has some great chanting music during certain parts of the story which was the only good thing he used.