A son by the name of Cletus (Sam Campbell) who survived his own abortion wreaks a vicious and bloody revenge on his mother, Diane – played by Dee Wallace – and her bickering family who have gathered to celebrate their last Christmas in the family home before it is sold off.
The best thing about movies like Red Christmas is that just like 101 Films’ last seasonal slasher release All Through The House (2015) almost a year prior – just shy of a week, actually – its violence relies heavily on practical gore! Which is just as well as each of their respective plots is just as ridiculous as the other, and so the blood and guts fly in their chunks and torrents. The effects team has done a spectacular job here. And I rarely get to type that anymore thanks to the unnecessary integration of shitty, shitty CGI in recent years.
I’ve always been fond of Dee Wallace and what work of hers that I have seen. But for whatever the reasons may be, perhaps plot or character development or just plain sexism in Hollywood when it comes to female roles, her characters have always been partially passive and ineffectual, reacting to this and that. So it’s nice to see her completely losing her shit and getting her hands dirty here. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard her drop the F bomb so much. Damn, woman!
Whatever thought processes Sam Campbell put into his portrayal as Diane’s deformed killer son, Cletus, the result does pay homage to John Hurt’s performance as John Merrick in The Elephant Man (1980). It’s a pretty neat reference point, and it would also explain why he chose to speak with the voice of a man that is four to five times his age.
Even though it raises the issue of abortion, the plot of this movie is too silly to be preachy, so enjoy Red Christmas for what it is. Speaking of which, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for at least 2 excellent death scenes here, one involving a bear trap and the other a blender. The execution of the latter is quite wonderful.