Time is getting tight for all of you still on the naughty list to get your shit together and get back in the good graces of the guy in the big red suit. For the rest of you, check out the next installment of Six Slays of Christmas 2012… Films to Keep You Awake: A Christmas Tale.
Okay, the naughty folks can come too.
A Christmas Tale (Cuento de Navidad) is from the 2006 Spanish TV movie series Films to Keep You Awake. Think along the lines of Showtime’s “Masters of Horror,” and you’ve got the idea. The show featured a slew of different directors, but A Christmas Tale was helmed by a genre favorite, none other than one of the masterminds behind the [REC] series, Paco Plaza.
The film focuses on a group of pre-teens who find a woman dressed in a Santa suit who’s fallen into a deep hole in the woods. Before they can rescue her, it comes to their attention that she’s actually a dangerous thief named Rebeca Exposito, who has just stolen $2 million. Even pre-teens know that if you’ve got somebody stuck in a hole who just made off with a stash of loot like that, you’ve got to see some green before you’re helping them out. Add in a voodoo curse gone wrong, and you’ve got something that feels like The Goonies meet the undead.
A Christmas Tale has some truly great moments in it. The initial zombie reveal, for instance, is top-notch. And as greed settles in on the group of kids and they have to go further and further to try to get the money out of Exposito, the viewer eventually questions just who is the more guilty party–the original thief or the band of children who appeared so innocent at the beginning of the film. Notable performances are given by Maru Valdivielso, who plays the trapped thief, and Ivana Baquero, whom viewers will recognize as the little girl from Pan’s Labyrinth.
This movie, which has a runtime of just over an hour, has good scares, nice F/X and some solid laughs. It’s a Christmas treat that many may not be familiar with, but it is certainly worth searching out. Check out the trailer for the entire series below.
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