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Craig Anderson
Dee Wallace, Geoff Morrell, Sarah Bishop
Writing Credits:
Craig Anderson

A mother must protect her family on Christmas Day from a demented stranger who is hell-bent on tearing them apart.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.25:1
English Dolby 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 81 min.
Price: $22.99
Release Date: 10/17/2017

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Craig Anderson
• “Dee Wallace Speaks!” Interview
• Interview with Actor Gerald Odwyer
• Deleted Scene
• Blooper Reel
• Mini-Interview with Director Craig Anderson
• Previews


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-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Red Christmas [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 26, 2017)

A new addition to the small cadre of Yuletide-related horror films, 2017’s Red Christmas offers a bloody tale. In a prologue, we see that an aborted fetus survives the procedure and gets taken away by a mysterious person.

20 years after this, we meet a semi-dysfunctional family who unite for the holidays. Whole they deal with their own issues, an odd stranger named Cletus (Sam Campbell) arrives at their home and causes havoc.

I decided to give Red a look for a couple of reasons. For one, I retain residual fond memories of lead actor Dee Wallace due to her role in ET the Extra-Terrestrial, so her presence offered some optimism.

I also like to give “horror Christmas flick” genre a try. Like I mentioned, we don’t find a slew of these tales, so when one arrives, I feel a desire to check it out.

Whatever potential pleasures one might anticipate from Red fail to arrive, unfortunately. The movie offers a consistently weak effort with little coherence or dramatic impact.

Really, the movie often comes across like a random collection of scenes with a loose connection to link them. This leads to an awkward, clumsy narrative that fails to gain momentum or move down a compelling path.

Red shoves predictable choices down our throat at every turn. The characters lack any sense of depth or nuance, and we know where every aspect of the film will go.

Is it a spoiler to state that Cletus is the aborted fetus seen in the prologue? Nope – if you can’t figure out his identity immediately, you don’t deserve to watch movies, as this premise seems so obvious that no one can be surprised by this “revelation”.

To a large degree, Red feels like an attempt to meld Elephant Man with the Friday the 13th movies. Cletus clearly acts as a riff on Elephant Man’s John Merrick, and the notion of the deformed guy who resorts to gruesome violence comes straight from Friday.

Perhaps more talented filmmakers could do something with this melange of influences, but those behind Red lack the creativity necessary. The film consistently seems amateurish and poorly executed, without any drama or terror.

I didn’t expect cinematic greatness from Red Christmas, but I hoped it’d at least offer some decent thrills. Unfortunately, it suffers from such weak execution that it fails to turn into anything entertaining.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture C/ Audio C/ Bonus C+

Red Christmas appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.25:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an erratic image.

Overall sharpness seemed fine, but exceptions occurred. Occasional soft spots emerged, and these occurred without logic, so we wound up with inconsistent delineation.

No shimmering occurred, but light examples of jagged edges arrived. I saw no edge haloes or print flaws, though the movie came with a grainy feel that felt more like iffy digital mastering than actual grain.

Colors focused on yellows and blues, neither of which looked especially strong. While the hues seemed acceptable, they lacked much clarity. During the final act, the movie opted for heavy reds, pinks, blues and greens, all of which felt too thick.

Blacks were fairly dark and deep, at least, but shadows lacked much clarity. Low-light shots tended to seem murky and dense. This was a wholly lackluster image.

I also didn’t find much about the film’s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that stood out as memorable. The soundscape heavily focused on the front channels, and music became the dominant element.

This meant effects didn’t get much to do. They usually offered general atmospheric information, with only a handful of more involving scenes. None of these used the spectrum in a memorable manner.

Audio quality remained fine, though the track lost points for its compressed nature. In 2017, a Blu-ray should always offer a lossless option.

Speech appeared concise and natural, and the synthesizer score showed fairly good range. Effects lacked a lot to make them stand out, but they seemed fairly accurate and tight. This became an ordinary mix.

As we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary with writer/director Craig Anderson and actor Gerald Odwyer. Both sit together for a running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, sets and locations, cast and performances, influences, effects and related areas.

Though the track does touch on those topics, Anderson and Odwyer mainly just narrate what we see on screen. Actual insights remain few and far between, so this becomes a dull, monotonous chat.

A program with the lead actor, Dee Wallace Speaks! runs 19 minutes, 43 seconds. Wallace chats with Anderson about her involvement in the film as well as aspects of her performance and other parts of her career. Wallace proves to be lively and fun as she chats.

Next comes an Interview with Actor Gerald Odwyer. In this nine-minute, 57-second reel, Anderson and actor Sam Campbell ask Odwyer about aspects of his performance and career. A man with Down Syndrome, Odwyer doesn’t provide the most coherent piece, but he offers a few decent thoughts.

A Blooper Reel goes for three minutes, 26 seconds. It presents the standard goofs, though it throws in a few interesting behind the scenes shots.

One Deleted Scene lasts 45 seconds. It shows a little more of the Christmas get-together, and it adds nothing of import.

Finally, we locate a Craig Anderson Mini-Interview. During this one-minute, 40-second clip, Anderson chats with Odwyer. It seems to exploit Odwyer’s mental status for laughs, which makes it a downer.

The disc opens with ads for The Anatomy of Monsters, Vampyres and Wide. No trailer for Red shows up here.

Witless and free from any form of terror, Red Christmas flops. The movie suffers from many predictable points and never develops into anything coherent or involving. The Blu-ray provides mediocre picture and audio along with a collection of supplements dragged down by a weak commentary. Even if you’re desperate for holiday-related scares, you can do better than this dud.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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