Monday, December 23, 2013

#1,225. Saint Nick (2010)

Directed By: Dick Maas

Starring: Egbert Jan Weeber, Bert Luppes, Caro Lenssen

Trivia: On January 4th 2011 this movie's poster was awarded the 2010 TV Krant Filmposter Award, the annual Dutch award for 'best cinema poster of the year'

For those who like holiday films with a dark edge, there’s director Dick Maas' 2010 film Saint Nick. Produced in the Netherlands, Saint Nick features a title character who skips delivering toys to all the good children of the world in favor of kidnapping bad kids and dragging them to his ship, occasionally butchering the tyke's mommies and daddies in the process.

According to folklore, Saint Nicholas (played by Huub Stapel) rises from the dead whenever there's a full moon on Dec. 5th and goes on a murderous rampage, killing hundreds while abducting dozens of children. With the help of his followers, the Black Peters, Saint Nick rides through the streets of Amsterdam, unleashing otherworldly horrors on an unsuspecting public. 

Only Goert (Bert Luppes), a policeman whose family was slaughtered the last time Saint Nick struck, is prepared to face the evil head-on. Armed with a boatload of explosives, Goert teams up with Frank (Egbert Jan Weeber), a teenager who barely escaped the Black Peters, and begins searching for Saint Nick’s ship, hoping that, if he destroys it, he can end the carnage once and for all.

Saint Nick opens with two well-executed flashbacks, the first of which takes us to Dec. 5, 1492, when a small village, no longer willing to sit back and let their children be kidnapped, burns Saint Nick's ship and him along with it. Of course, a little fire can’t keep a good Saint down, as we see in the 2nd flashback: Dec. 5, 1968, where a young Goert (played as a boy by Niels van den Berg) loses his entire family to Saint Nick and his hellish followers. 

Having established that the title character is a pretty nasty dude, Saint Nick next switches to modern-day, where innocent townsfolk go about their business, unaware of the horror to come once the sun goes down. And while I would have liked to see a few more scenes with Saint Nick (the Black Peters are on-screen more than he is), those moments when Nick does appear are incredibly cool (in the movie’s best sequence, the police are chasing Saint Nick as he rides his white steed, in full gallop, along the city’s rooftops).

A stylish horror film with a dark sense of humor, Saint Nick may not fill you with Christmas cheer, but it will definitely bring a smile to your face.

No comments: