This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the actors currently on strike, the movie/series/feature being covered here wouldn't exist.
BY JACK RANSOM NOVEMBER 6, 2023
Around the age of 11 or 12 when I was first getting immersed in film watching, terribly schlocky low budget creature features were my go to: Sharktopus, Mega Piranha, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (basically Aslyum produced drivel). A part of me now undeniably loves and will always be intrigued by an absurd premise and the concept of Werewolf Santa certainly piqued my attention - it’s just a shame that my attention was quickly dissipated within the first 10-15 minutes of this 2023 outing that quite frankly is one of the worst genre features I have ever seen.
A yuletide B-movie creature feature horror comedy (I say comedy extremely lightly, but we’ll get to that). Werewolf Santa sees Santa bitten on Christmas Eve. An amateur monster hunter Lucy witnesses his transformation into a werewolf. Armed with only a rusty ice skate and a vague understanding of how werewolves operate, Lucy and her family set out to save Christmas.
At just over 1 hour long (including credits) the film at least doesn’t hang around too long, even though I quite frankly found the second half an absolute chore to warrant even a claw’s length of attention towards. The majority of the film is just watching the family bicker, talk about utterly mundane rubbish (this screenplay is stretched excruciatingly thin), interspersed with occasional rubber masked werewolf attack and a bizarrely elongated dogging sequence which I guess at least represents the shoddy porn-like quality of every inch of the production. Structurally the film staggers all over the place like it's drunk on eggnog, with an utterly abysmal sense of time progression (despite being around 5pm in the evening it feels like 1am, despite the stock digital clock font in every new scene saying otherwise) and scene transitions which make Windows Movie Maker projects look like Thelma Schoonmaker was behind them.
The production value is distractingly cheap and shoddy, with the film going for a vlog-esque handheld camera style approach which offers absolutely nothing from a stylistic or immersion perspective. The production design is dull and the lighting, as well as the sound design is consistently ropey. There are a couple of decent practical blood and gore glimpses, but the titular beast an absolutely laughable presence that offers nothing in terms of memorability or interest whatsoever.
The performances are bad but made even worse by the atrocious screenplay. Both Lucy and Dustin are instantaneously grating and unlikeable. Two adults with the angsty, whiny, slacker vibes of teenagers. Everyone else involved is either boring, uncomfortable or cringe-inducingly awkward in their performances.
Werewolf Santa's novelty premise is a crushing letdown in execution. The production value, terrible performances, bargain bin script and lack of any thrills or semblance of tension or even remotely grin worthy comedy means it should be banished from any festive or Halloween viewing. At least the poster and tagline are good?