Review: Adult Swim’s ‘YULE LOG’ – How a surprise horror film is this year’s greatest stocking stuffer.

A warm fireplace with logs set ablaze and traditional holiday songs descend into pure Christmas horror chaos. The camera stays static as characters enter and exit the frame, never entirely in focus. For the first seven minutes, the film relies on voice acting akin to a radio show. A bait and switch occur when the camera owners, Alex and Zoe, return to the cabin and push out the focus to reveal the room. A curse, a serial killer, a few aliens, and all hell breaks lose when two groups double-book the listing. Shit gets gruesome and infinitely bonkers in YULE LOG (aka The Fireplace).

Even though the script overflows with tropes, they are masterfully woven into a compelling narrative. As multiple complications arise, the camera finally moves in a smooth dronelike manner. Then the gore hits us right in the face. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink* I would pay so much money to experience YULE LOG again in 3D. No, seriously. Also, don’t for a moment think you have the slightest idea of what comes next. YULE LOG is absolutely deranged and ridiculously entertaining.

Performances are outstanding. The commitment to the absurd is perfection. With shocking emotional swings and spectacular editing, there is not a slow moment. How Adult Swim managed to sneak in a last-minute horror film without Warner Bros. knowing blows my mind. It’s a holiday miracle. The creativity applied to this low-budget and undeniably genius production makes it one of the finest genre films of the year. YULE LOG is a Willy Winka mindfuck of a revenge horror. Don’t dare leave before the credits. You’ll miss out on writer-director Casper Kelley’s original theme song. It’s one final bizarre and brilliant stocking stuffer.


 

“Adult Swim Yule Log” is now available to stream on HBO Max and to purchase digitally.

About Adult Swim

Adult Swim is the leader in adult animation and #1 destination for young adults for over fifteen years, offering critically acclaimed, award-winning original and acquired series such as “Rick and Morty,” “Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal,” “The Eric Andre Show,” and “SMILING FRIENDS.” Fan favorite anime block, Toonami, airs on Saturday nights and has expanded beyond acquisitions, producing original series including “Housing Complex C,” “Uzumaki,” and new seasons of “FLCL.” The annual Adult Swim Festival reaches a global audience, and features performances by top musicians and comedians. Adult Swim airs nightly from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET/PT) on its linear channel and reaches fans via HBO Max. Connect with Adult Swim on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Tik Tok. Subscribe to Adult Swim on YouTube.

About Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming. Available in more than 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. For more information, please visit www.wbd.com.


Review: ‘THE MEAN ONE’ is merry and murderous holiday horror.

THE MEAN ONE

Hokey Hallmark meets children’s classic in the new holiday horror THE MEAN ONE. Director Stephen LaMorte and writers Flip and Finn Kobler tell a twisted tale of trauma and small-town secrets through one of our most beloved and iconic holiday villains. A familiar story, but make it merry and murderous.

Twenty years after the Xmas Eve death of her mother in 2009, Cindy returns to her hometown to face the demons of her childhood. When history begins repeating itself, she vows to take back the night and the holiday spirit, no matter how much blood she has to spill.

Clever Seussian signage appears throughout the film, as do homage character names. The sometimes quippy dialogue works around what I can only assume would be a massive copyright infringement case.
The noteworthy turn comes from Cindy’s neighbor Doc Zuess. John Bingham, whose character is reminiscent of Roberts Blossom from Home Alone, is brilliant. His performance legitimizes The Mean One, bringing it out of its Hallmark moments.

Krystle Martin is Cindy. Her professional stunt work shines. From traumatized to trigger-happy, Cindy’s exposure therapy becomes a plot for revenge. Let us not forget our titular character brought to life by none other than “Art The Clown” himself, David Howard Thornton. His mannerisms are glorious. The film would be less memorable without him.

Christopher Sanders‘ narration adds a fantastic touch. The CG blood is straight up over the top. Is The Mean One ridiculously tropey? Yes. Will it be appearing on our eccentric holiday viewing list next week? Also, yes.


THE MEAN ONE is opening exclusively at Regal Cinemas nationwide on December 9th, with special advance screenings taking place everywhere on the evening of the 8th.
Additional details about where to see it on the big screen can be found at TheMeanOneMovie.com.

 

Directed by LaMorte with a script by Flip and Finn Kobler, THE MEAN ONE stars David Howard Thornton, Krystle Martin, Chase Mullins, John Bigham, Erik Baker, Flip Kobler, and Amy Schumacher. A co-production between A Sleight of Hand Productions, Amy Rose Productions, and Kali Pictures, the feature is Produced by Schumacher, LaMorte, and Martine Melloul. Executive Producers are Jordan Rosner, Gato Scatena, and Zach Stampone.


 

Review: Shudder and RLJE release ‘CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS’ – sex, gore, and rock ‘n roll for the gods.

When Tori closes her record shop on Christmas Eve, her plans include getting drunk with coworker Robbie. After the news breaks that repurposed military AI dressed as Satanta Claus reverted back to its aggressive state, things do not go as planned. So much for a silent night. CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS is neon-soaked rock ‘n roll merry mayhem.

The gruesome kills are juxtaposed with a sick soundtrack (and one brilliant oral sex scene), top that off with a particularly shocking choice of violence. When Tori witnesses the act, our killer Santa goes ham on the house. The words, “Oh! That’s fucking nuts,” poured out of my mouth as he breached the threshold. I would be surprised if you didn’t end up saying the same.

Riley Dandy and Sam Delich give spectacular performances. Given writer-director Joe Begos‘ meaty fandom-laced dialogue, they look like they loved every minute. The discussion about horror sequel superiority had me cheering out loud.

Delich brings that eager nice-guy energy to their will- they-won’t-they dynamic. Abraham Benrubi is unstoppable as our killer Santa. Simply put, he slays it. Dandy is fiery and punk rock in a tangible way. You want to be her best friend but probably cannot keep up. Once shit goes sideways, Dandy has the chance to champion her final girl realness and nails it. This performance kicks all the ass.

Steve Moore‘s original music is bitchin’. The practical fx are a gift. The pyrotechnic work keeps things merry and bright. The special makeup and Animatronic robot effects from Josh and Sienna Russell are a Christmas miracle. Will everyone compare it to Silent Night Deadly Night meets Terminator? Probably but who cares. CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS is a holiday horror treat. So, spike your eggnog, get as lit as your tree, and rock the hell out of this film.


Shudder and RLJE Films will release CHRISTMAS BLOODY CHRISTMAS in Theaters and it will stream exclusively on Shudder on December 9, 2022.

Starring Riley Dandy, Sam Delich, Abe Benrubi, Jeff Daniel Phillips

Directed by Joe Begos


Starring Riley Dandy, Sam Delich, Abe Benrubi, Jeff Daniel Phillips Directed by Joe Begos It’s Christmas Eve and fiery record store owner Tori Tooms just wants to get drunk and party, until the robotic Santa Claus at a nearby toy store goes haywire and makes her night more than a little complicated. Santa Claus begins a rampant killing spree through the neon drenched snowscape against a backdrop of drugs, sex, metal and violence, ultimately forcing Tori into a blood splattered battle for survival against the ruthless heavy metal Saint Nick himself.


 

Review: Survive holiday hell and hilarity in Camille Griffin’s ‘SILENT NIGHT’

SILENT NIGHT

 

SYNOPSIS: In true British fashion, (while the rest of the world faces impending doom), a group of old friends reunites to celebrate Christmas in the comfort of an idyllic country home. Burdened with the inconvenience of mankind’s imminent destruction, they adopt a stiff upper lip, crack open another bottle of prosecco and continue with their festivities. But no amount of stoicism can replace the courage needed for their last night on earth.


Writer/Director Camille Griffin gives audiences the gift of holiday hell and hilarity. Think The Big Chill meets Love Actually and sprinkles in Melancholia, as Silent Night finds us rocking around the Christmas tree for, perhaps, the last time. A group of friends makes a pact to spend their Christmas together, with one huge and horrifying caveat. The eclectic holiday soundtrack amps up the energy tenfold. But it’s all a bit of bait and switch. Therein lies the genius that is Silent Night. You think the film is one thing when suddenly BAM. This genre-destroying film will shock you.

Silent Night has an ensemble cast that’s to die for. Keira Knightley strikes the perfect balance of overly stressed host and mother, bringing that quirky charm we know so well. Lucy Punch has the innate ability to be funny without a single word and her talents are elevated by Griffin’s cheeky dialogue. Matthew Goode gives us the gambit of emotions. He’s a solid anchor amongst the spiraling chaos. A standout performance comes from Griffin’s real-life son, Roman Griffin Davis, as Art. After his incredible turn in JoJo Rabbit, it should come as no surprise that he knocks it out of the park here. His fearless honesty spills off the screen, and you will be unable to take your eyes off of him. He steals every scene. 

Even as these chic adults reminisce about what could have been, their children attempt to come to terms with impending doom. Every scene featuring a child is perfection. That is what kids are like, and thank you, Camille Griffin, for including these gems. If you didn’t know she was a parent beforehand, you would as you watched the film play out. The complexity of parenting lies within the overall arc of the film. In truth, this is one of the darkest films I’ve ever seen. If I said I wasn’t shaking from anxiety and crying in the end, I’d be lying. The writing is soaked in acerbic wit. It’s a punch to the face, over and over, all while it begs existential questions of privilege and morality. I could easily see a prequel, sequel, or series in which we follow other locations simultaneously. This is a formal request for such a creation.


AMC+ and RLJE Films will release the darkly comedic drama/horror SILENT NIGHT in Theaters and streaming exclusively on AMC+ on December 3, 2021.


Marking writer Camille Griffin’s feature directorial debut, SILENT NIGHT features an all-star ensemble cast including Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise), Matthew Goode (Downton Abbey), Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Rabbit), Annabelle Wallis (“Peaky Blinders”), Lily Rose-Depp (Voyagers)Ṣọpé Dìrísù (“Gangs of London”), Kirby Howell-Baptiste (“The Good Place”), Lucy Punch (Into the Woods), Rufus Jones (”Flack”) and Trudie Styler (Filth, Moon).


Shudder original review: ‘THE ADVENT CALENDAR’ is the holiday horror gift that keeps on giving.

THE ADVENT CALENDAR

Eva (Eugénie Derouand, Paris Police 1900), an ex-dancer, is now using a wheelchair, unable to walk. When her friend Sophie (Honorine Magnier, Tomorrow is Ours) gives her an old wooden antique advent calendar before Christmas, she realizes each window contains a surprise that triggers repercussions in real life. Some of them are good, but most of them are bad, really bad. Now Eva will have to choose between getting rid of the calendar or walking again – even if it causes death and destruction to everyone she holds dear around her.


Writer/Director Patrick Ridremont gives Shudder audiences enough horror to rude into the holidays with The Advent Calendar. Think of it as a Christmas-themed Pandora’s box. Eva’s life is pretty sad. Isolated by the insensitivity of people who only see her wheelchair, combined with the declining health of her beloved father, Eva trudges through day-to-day life. When given a unique birthday gift, each day brings the unexpected. For better, and most certainly, for worse.

There’s an immediate and visceral Wow factor that occurs when the box first appears. The design is intricate. It’s simultaneously inviting and terrifying. It also allows for a brilliant screenplay structure as we know there are more surprises to come counting down the days with Eva. The Advent Calendar could have been an entire series on Shudder. 

Eugénie Derouand, as Eva, is outstanding. You can see the gears turning as her moral compass disintegrates. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. Derouand makes it look easy, and you cannot help but root for her. 

The practical fx and makeup are unsettling and grotesque. I found myself unable to look away, quite frankly. The tropes are consuming, and they’ll send a shiver down your spine. They are relentless. Overall, The Advent Calendar is a gift that keeps on giving, whether you like it or not. Add this one to your annual holiday horror lists immediately. 


Shudder, AMC Networks’ streamer for horror, thrillers and the supernatural will premiere writer/director Patrick Ridremont’s ornate and elegant French horror fantasy The Advent Calendar exclusively on Tuesday, December 2nd. Combining Faustian themes and allusions with European folklore and tense, chilling terror, the Shudder Original film provides some highly original holiday season horror.

The Advent Calendar world premiered earlier this year at London’s Frightfest and was produced by Alain Benguigui, Virginie Ogouz, Jean-Yves Roubin, and Cassandre Warnauts.