Plot: A tragic hazing incident in years past left an indelible mark on a sorority house, but the small matter of a murder/suicide hasn’t stopped the pledge classes that followed from living it up. As Christmas approaches, the house throws a party to celebrate and one of the new pledges is kind of a surprising one. The younger sister of the murdered sorority girl has joined and while her presence confuses everyone, she is glad to be part of the social circle and wants to leave her sister’s dark past behind. Of course, that has been easier said than done, so she also hopes this Christmas shindig will distract her, though the turnout is low, with most students headed home for the holidays. But when she begins to receive strange messages signed by Mrs. Claus, she isn’t sure if it is a prank or a deranged woman who believes in Santa. As the party limps along, it becomes clear this Mrs. Claus is no generous holiday benefactor, but can anyone survive her onslaught and who is under the killer’s mask?
Entertainment Value: This one was a fun one, an indie horror movie that doesn’t skimp on the bloodshed and delivers just enough campiness, but also tries to weave in some good atmosphere at times. So Mrs. Claus might not be a terrifying experience, but it does have colorful and memorable kill scenes, while the tone shifts to more serious notes when the material requires that. The story is fine, if quite familiar and there’s no real wild twists or turns, but it does what it needs to and sets the stage for the deaths, which is where Mrs. Claus shines. The cast is passable and most of the performances are on the wooden, but to me that adds entertainment and a few of the performers are much better than expected. I always like to see Mel Heflin and I wish her role was more prominent here, while Hailey Strader and Kaylee Williams are fun to watch, even if not in award level efforts. Genre fans might be lured to Mrs. Claus by the presence of genre veterans Brinke Stevens and Helene Udy, but just be aware they’re in somewhat smaller roles and not the film’s focus. I also appreciated the film’s brisk pace and overall fun atmosphere, so for fans of indie horror, this one is well worth a spin.
The nakedness is limited to one scene, but at least it isn’t a brief one, as a topless woman lounges in bed for a few minutes. So if you hoped to see Mrs. Claus get down and dirty, I hate to break the bad news to you, but no dice on that one. The movie throws some nice violence into the mix however, with splashy effects and full use of the holiday themed implements on hand. This includes multiple stab wounds that gush and overflow with the red stuff, on camera stabbing sessions, no less. I love that the camera sticks with the kills and doesn’t shy away from the carnage on hand. The movie also rolls out a good old fashioned impalement, some eye trauma, and a candy cane deep throat that makes a nice festive kill. I also appreciated a nasty garrote sequence that looks super brutal thanks to the lighting, which obscures just enough to let your imagination fill in the horrific details. The effects are low rent, but effective and I was happy to see the bloodshed embraced here. The dialogue is fine, but not one of the movie’s strong suits as far as wild or outlandish touches. There’s some mean girl talk and meta horror lines, but mostly straight forward stuff in this case. The craziness scale ramps up a little for the kills, some of the more colorful performances, and the general b movie vibes, but this one never goes fully off the rails. But the hazing was fairly wild, with toilet water drinking and forced dildo exercises.
Overall Insanity: 3/10
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