It’s the end of November. Soon it will be time to celebrate Christmas and the end of another year. But not just yet. This week, things are going to get a little spooky in Toronto with the 6th Annual Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival. Celebrating horror movies from across Canada, this year’s fest takes over the Royal Cinema from November 23rd to 26th for 4 days of scary movies. To get you ready for the event, we’ve got a handful of reviews for some of this year’s offerings. Things get festive this Sunday at 2PM with the screening of Once Upon a Time at Christmas.

Directed by Paul Tanter, Once Upon a Time at Christmas follows a murderous duo dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus as they terrorize the small town of Woodrigde on the days leading up to Christmas. Their kills are informed by the Twelve Days of Christmas carol and appear to be connected to a young woman who lives in the town. She may or may not be their final intended victim. As the bodies begin to pile up, it appears that nothing can stop Santa and his Missus from completing their deadly tribute to the famous Christmas song. Will the townspeople make it to Christmas Day?

There is only one word to describe this film: hilarious. Aping the style of a classic slasher movie, the film is a parody through and through. The acting is wooden and unnatural. The dialogue is stilted. There’s no common sense or reasoning to a number of the characters’ decisions. Some of the characters are more caricature with a Mayor that’s obsessed with consumerism and going to strip clubs than the safety of his own town and a small town sheriff that’s in way over his head. This film lightly pokes fun at the horror genre with it’s tongue firmly planted in its cheek.

Most of the performances in the film feel very subdued for a town that’s plagued with murder. That is except for one in particular. Simon Phillips has the honor of playing “Santa Claus” and does so with dramatic flare. Unlike the others actors, who are very stiff in their delivery, Simon gets to revel in his character and evoke an inspired showing with a lot of swagger and even a bit of charm. He really stands out from the others and a part of you wants to see him win the day and complete is mad tribute to the famous Christmas song. It’s a fun and classic take on a maniac and really worked with the piece.

If you’re up for a bit of killing and looking for a laugh this Sunday afternoon, check out Once Upon a Time at Christmas, playing at 2PM. Tickets are available HERE.

This concludes our Blood In The Snow 2017 Preview. Be sure to check out my reviews of Red Spring, Buckout Road, and Kill Order.

If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!


Once Upon A Time At Christmas plays BITS17 on Sunday, November 26th at 2PM.