Thursday, January 4, 2018

Holiday Horror: Red Christmas (2016)

Diane gathers with her four adult children for Christmas dinner at her house. No one knows that twenty years ago, she had an abortion that happened to be bombed by right wing extremists at the same time. She escaped and the baby somehow survived the operation. The terrorist raised the deformed child and he returns to his family on Christmas day. At first, the family tries to welcome him despite his odd clothes and bad smell, but once he accuses their mom of trying to abort him, they throw him out. He takes offense and starts murdering each member one by one.

Red Christmas is an odd movie that tackles some controversial subject matter with mixed results. Abortion is on the forefront. The prospect that a fetus would survive an abortion and then raised by the terrorist that bombed the clinic is a right winger's wet dream. The fact that a woman endangers her entire family because of a secret abortion years ago pretty squarely puts abortion the evil side of morality, apparently even more so due to the fetus likely having Down Syndrome. She already had a child with Down Syndrome and understandably didn't want to raise another on her own when her husband was deathly ill. Even though Diane believes in her choice and doesn't take anyone's criticism about it, a murderer is still hounding them as a direct result. I don't like media, even over the top, silly media like this, that paints abortion as evil in a time where every inch of bodily autonomy has to be fought for.

The film does have some things going for it. The gore and kills are over the top crazy with head explosions and blood rocketing in all directions. The filmmakers' had enough sense to create a villain with Down Syndrome and also have a conventional character, Diane's son Jerry, with Down syndrome. This makes Cletis, the murderer, a monster because of his actions and not because of his disability. Diane is a kickass woman who fights tooth and nail for her family even though they are all insufferable. One of her daughters is devoutly religious and judgy while the other is the polar opposite, drinking and smoking pot while pregnant. I wasn't sad to see either die.

Red Christmas touches on hot button issues for shock value and not much else. It seems to be on the prolife side of things, which isn't great as I already addressed. If you go in looking for a silly, gory ride and don't read into the story, you will have fun. Other than that, it's a bit of a mess and not even very satisfying as a slasher movie.

My rating: 1.5/5 fishmuffins

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