Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – Werewolf Santa

FrightFest review – Werewolf Santa

High concept horror made in Hastings, and also a found footage feature.

Lucy (Katherine Rodden) hasn’t made a success of a youtube channel about monster hunting because she gets to far-flung locations only to find cryptids don’t show up.  She goes home for Christmas, with sometime camera guy Dustin (Charle Preston) in tow, partly because she recalls local lore about werewolves living in pirate caves.  Her estranged, divorced parents are Carol (Emily Booth), who’s fairly long-suffering, and Charlie (Mark Arnold), a hard-drinking chief constable.  As signalled by an illustrated prologue with Joe Bob Briggs reading ‘The Night Before Christmas’, things get hairy when – on a rare Christmas Eve that’s also a full moon – Lucy and Dustin happen on Saint Nick (Cory Peterson) taking a bathroom break, only to witness Santa being the victim of an attack by an alpha werewolf and turning into a kid-eating monster who clumps down chimneys, rips through the local doggers, and tears up a few cops who happen to be armed with silver bullets.  With Lucy’s conspiracy theorist nut pal Rupert (Cian Lorcan) in tow, an odd little band set about ‘saving Christmas’ – which involves hunting werewolf Santa through a ghost train and hoping to head him off before he shows up in church for midnight mass.

Written and directed by Airell Anthony Hayles, who made the Lovecraftian They’re Outside and has busily produced and encouraged a bunch of other low-budget British horrors, this is admirably succinct (just over 70 minutes), generally good-humoured (its redeeemable foulup wannabe internet personality heroine is a contrast with the irredeemable one in Dashcam), sometimes wicked, often amusing in its avoid-expenses cheapness and features Emily Booth in a Christmas sweater.  It lands a few emotional moments as the heroine connects with people she’s alienated from, but is mostly just a silly runaround.

Here’s the FrightFest listing





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