There have been some articles here at AICN leading up to the release of ‘The Christmas Chronicles’, and I thought we ought to have a review as well. I read on ‘rogerebert.com’ that this was a 1.5 stars out of four piece of garbage while ‘Widows’ was a four star classic. Well, thank the man upstairs for aintitcoolnews.com for letting me set the record straight. I hated Widows more than Veronica Rampant who beat me to writing about it on here, and I cannot wait to encourage all you readers to watch ‘The Christmas Chronicles’. It’s a cult classic in the making, high energy, lavishly produced, and amazingly bad, but everything bad in this movie works to its advantage through sheer audacity.
A family film wherein Santa hanging round with two kids brings up mentions of Amber Alerts and insinuations that the son may be a teen prostitute procured by Santa? Santa singing R&B with hookers as backup singers while in jail? A sequence twenty minutes in that is one of the top five most frightening things I’ve ever seen in a film? A son earnestly crying and asking aloud “Why did dad have to go into that stupid fire to save a bunch of random strangers?” It’s high camp. You can say it’s going for camp intentionally which would ruin it, and, sure, some signs are there, casting Kurt Russell as Santa Claus, dialogue so lame that it could have been rejected by the 90’s sitcom ‘Step by Step’, but none of it reads as parody. The action is directed for visceral suspense and excitement, the comedy is straightforward comedy, and bits maudlin and saccharine are not pushed as far as someone mocking them would. I was thankful for every moment. I struggle to break down the plot to give you an idea of how many crazy things occur in this film (internal logic assuredly does not occur), but I feel like it would amount to ruining a lot of laughs.
Suffice to say, this year Santa Claus switched from snorting Christmas cheer to Netflix algorithms. There’s a scene that sums up the whole experience wherein money floats through the air like snowflakes. It occurs inside a chop shop as elves save a teen boy from being murdered by hoods while a monstrous fiery furnace blazes in the background. Often with a so-bad-it’s-good’ movie, long stretches go without a new thing to be aghast at. Not here. ‘The Christmas Chronicles’ stacks insanity from end to end.
Another key thing to making it all watchable as opposed to something like Netflix’s ‘Bright’, which looked similarly hilarious, is just having a pleasant looking picture in terms of production design. I didn’t even give ‘Bright’ a chance because it looked so wannabe gritty and garish. It’s to ‘The Christmas Chronicles’ great credit that I might check out ‘Bright.’ Might ... eh... probably not.