Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Christmas Tale (2008)

It's Christmas week in 1985 and five friends find a woman in a Santa suit lying at the bottom of a hole in the woods.  After discovering she's still alive, two of the boys go to get the police while the others keep the woman company.

The policeman at the front desk tells the kids to have a seat, which turns out to be because he's on the phone talking about cooking and recipes.  While waiting for someone to listen to them, the kids discover a notice which states the woman they've seen is wanted by the police and considered dangerous. Rushing back to their friends, the group decides to give the woman some food but leave her in the hole until they figure out what to do.

Later that night, one of the kids see a TV news report about the woman, named Rebecca, who is wanted for stealing $2 million from a bank. The kids decide they won't let her out until she tells them where she hid the money. When she says no, they decide more persuasion is in order and stop giving her food.

Soon the group starts splintering into different factions. A few kids think this has gone on long enough and want to turn Rebecca over to the police.  The others want are willing to let her die, if that's what it takes to get the money. Also there is a concern that if the police are involved, Rebecca will get them in trouble for what they've done to her.

The kids like to hang out in an abandoned amusement park, and a few like to watch an old movie called Invasion Zombie.  The movie includes a scene with a voodoo ceremony, which two of the boys perform near the hole when they suspect Rebecca has died.  When she disappears from the hole, the question becomes has she escaped, or come back to life as a zombie?  Either way, there's soon a screaming, limping, bloody woman holding an ax and wearing a Santa suit trying to kill them.

This was a pretty interesting movie.  I wasn't sure what to think at first since the kids are twelve or thirteen. But it has a bit of a Stand By Me or The Goonies feel, just not as much charm. Plus a couple of the kids are far more brutal than in those movies.  The movie has several 80s references.  One of the kids has an obsession with the Karate Kid, and when the group decides they need aliases, they each take the name of an A-Team member.

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