Saint Nick (2010)

DVD Cover (IFC Midnight)
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Horror Comedy, Slasher Film, Christmas
Dick Maas Dick Maas
Egbert Jan Weeber Egbert Jan Weeber
Bert Luppes Bert Luppes
Caro Lenssen Caro Lenssen
Huub Stapel Huub Stapel
Escha Tanihatu Escha Tanihatu

5.5 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: December 25, 2014
I can't think of many better ways to celebrate Christmas than settling down with a good killer Santa Claus movie. This particular offering comes all the way from the Netherlands and is based on their interpretation of the character (in fact, we built our Santa using their Sinterklaas as the framework). Their Christmas falls on December 5th and good ol' Saint Nick runs around with his Black Petes (slightly racist caricatures that serve as his elves) giving candy and poems to the good kids and spankings to the bad kids. Oh, and I forgot to mention that apparently he's a tyrannical bishop with a vengeful blood lust.

In the first of our two opening flashbacks, we head way back to December 5, 1492. A Spanish bishop named Saint Nicholas leads a group of Moors to the village of Amsterdam, rapes, pillages and hangs a notice stating that every full moon they are to be supplied with gold, livestock, booze and virgins. These citizens will have none of that and set his ship on fire, burning him and his crew to a crisp. Flash-forward to 1968, where the full moon is high in the night sky on Saint Nicholas Day. Young Goert has to interrupt celebrating with his family to check on the pigs in the barn. He returns to find a hideously burned bishop riding a white horse off of his roof and an abattoir where his living room used to be.

Flash forward to the present, where the high school kids are exchanging their Saint Nicholas Day presents. Among the more memorable was Sophie's present to her boyfriend Frank: a box of his belongings and a poem explaining she heard he was making out with a blonde. Said blonde just so happens to be Sophie's friend, Lisa, and while she likes Frank she still feels a bit guilty about betraying her friend, so he gets dumped twice in one day. Bummer. Still, he's not one to let life get him down, and he's looking forward to dressing up as Saint Nicholas for the local sorority's party. He may have to put his plans on hold however, as this December 5th just so happens to fall on a full moon, and the real Saint Nicholas has returned to dish out more vengeance and bloodshed.

While I'd certainly call this a horror/comedy, in no way is this in the vein of say, Shaun of the Dead, but there's an undeniable tongue-in-cheek tone running throughout the movie. In a lot of ways, I kind of prefer this to a more traditional laugh out loud style since it doesn't seem so at odds when the movie shifts to the violent scenes. Those scenes were actually pretty well done. Maas was competent enough with the unseen stalker route, but he really shined when he chose to hang his hat on gore. Nicholas can work that bladed staff of his like a champ and his army doesn't slouch either. With that said, I wish they wouldn't have given him so many Black Petes. Yeah I know that's part of the myth and they had to be included, they could have scaled them back a bit so they didn't steal so much of the Saint's thunder.

Unfortunately, Netflix only had the dubbed version available, so I can't exactly comment on the acting, but let's be honest. It's not like the bar is set that high for slasher movies anyway. The dubbing wasn't terrible; while some of the lines were pretty cheesy, there's no way of knowing whether that's the dubbing, a translation issue, or just a cultural difference. Either way, it wasn't a problem. If you prefer subtitles, you'll have to hunt down the DVD.

So while it's certainly nothing extraordinary, it's still pretty solid if you're a fan of the genre. Plus, it's certainly interesting seeing another culture's traditions twisted into something beautifully evil. 7/10.
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