(director: Tyler MacIntyre; screenwriter: Michael Kennedy; cinematographer: Nicholas Piatnik; editor: Arndt-Wulf Peemoller; music: Russ Howard III; cast: Justin Long (Henry Waters), Joel McHale (David Carruthers), Cassandra Naud (Karen Simmons), Jane Widdop (Winnie Carruthers), Hanna Huggins (Cara Evans), Erin Boyes (Judy Carruthers), William B. Davis (Roger Evans), Jess McLeod (Bernie Simon), Gale Prescott (Katharine Isabelle), Aiden Howard (Jimmy Carruthers); Runtime: 87; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Seth Caplan, Michael Kennedy, Daniel Bekerman; RLJE Films/Shudder; 2023)

“A mindless Christmas film that’s witless, clunky and lacking in taste.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A bloody Giallo B- film directed by Tyler MacIntyre (“Tragedy Girls”/”Good Boy”) and written by Michael Kennedy. It’s labelled as a holiday-themed horror-comedy, but offers only superficial thrills and a cheesy story that’s too moldy for a Christmas story. It takes its premise from the classic Christmas tale “It’s A Wonderful Life” by Frank Capra and turns it into this trashy slasher flick. Though it delivers the horror thrills, the comedy is snowed-in.

In the small town of Angel Falls, the teenage siblings Jimmy (Aiden Howard) and Winnie Carruthers (Jane Widdop) heroically prevent a psycho serial killer (Justin Long), dressed as an angel, from doing more killings. Winnie unmasks him as a friend of her dad (Joel McHale). A year later, on Christmas, after the heroes were honored by the town, as Winnie received a “lesbian track suit” and Jimmy a new car.

Winnie suffers from a severe depression over the loss of some of her friends during the killing spree and wishes under a constellation she wasn’t born. Thereby she winds up in an alternative universe, where no one knows her.

Meanwhile in her absence, her town becomes a haven for crack addicts, its buildings are covered with graffiti and there’s an outbreak of fires caused by arsonists. Meanwhile the psycho continues his killing spree. To stop any further killings, Winnie returns to Angel Falls and teams up with her outcast classmate Bernie Simon (Jess McLeod), whom she has a romantic interest in.

I found it to be a mindless Christmas film that’s witless, clunky and lacking in taste.