While the family tensions and bickering are enjoyably warped, most of the dialog is extremely corny, especially two of the characters get increasingly crazed. Until they go nuts, the actors are quite good; each has a family stereotype to play, and they do it very well indeed. But the filmmakers don't seem to have anything particularly original to say here (it's obvious what's happening from the beginning), and they seem strangely evasive about much of the sex and violence, leaving us to wonder what the film's point is. There are several blackly funny moments that liven things up--both cruelly witty gags and mordant snippets of dialog like Dad's sudden blurt: "And I thought Christmas was bad last year!" Then the script falls back on yet another tired cliche ("This reminds me of a story my grandfather used to tell me") and we're yawning again. While the film is frequently grisly, it's never remotely scary or horrific. It just seems to get increasingly silly, repetitive and meaningless by the minute. Yes, it's entertaining and never dull, but it's also fairly lazy filmmaking.
dir-scr Jean-Baptiste Andrea, Fabrice Canepa
with Ray Wise, Alexandra Holden, Lin Shaye, Mick Cain, Billy Asher, Amber Smith, Karen Gregan, Steve Valentine, Sharon Madden, Clement Blake, Jimmy Skaggs, Ivan Kraljevic
release UK 12.Dec.03
Over the river and through the woods: Shaye, Holden, Cain and Wise...
|Linda, NY: "I thought this was a good movie, considering some of the other junk that's put out these days. I was pleasantly surprised because I was expecting much less of this movie, being that it was never released in theaters here. I found the movie both scary and funny, but not 'stupid' funny, like so many other horror flicks nowadays. Rent it; it's definitely worth the 4 bucks!" (27.Dec.04)