Out of all of the ‘throwback’ slashers that I’ve watched over the past few years, one of the more enjoyable ones was the indie gem, Don’t Go to the Reunion. Needless to say, when the same studio that brought that film to life, Slasher Studios, released news of an upcoming holiday project, I was elated. I could not wait for the next film, as I was sure it’d be another great entry in the slasher sub-genre. After months and months of waiting, however, I am sad to say that Dismembering Christmas was not at all what I was expecting.
A group of friends have decided to take a little break from their families and spend the holidays amongst themselves at a family cabin. After being warned by the local neighbors of the cabin’s grisly past, the youngsters soon learn that the stories are all true — there is a masked lunatic on the loose, who won’t stop until everybody’s dead…
All independent films face the same inevitable obstacles. Low budgets mean that corners must be cut and production values must be tightly knit, so as to not go overboard on anything unnecessary. With that said, it is almost a guarantee that there will always be negatives to be said about films of this nature. While I came to understand that many years ago, it still does not account for certain things. I have no problem looking past some of the lighting and sound issues that plagued Dismembering Christmas, but poor acting, painfully dull dialogue, and lack of any real excitement can’t necessarily be chalked up to a low budget. On top of this, the characters were indistinguishable and I didn’t really care about any of them, as they were picked off one by one by our antagonist. There were about five female cast members that had long brown hair, all done exactly the same, making it extremely difficult for me to identify who was who — there was so and so’s sister, and oh yeah, so and so’s sister, too! The 74 minute runtime can be blamed for this a tad, as it didn’t really leave much time for any further character development… not that I necessarily wanted this film to be any longer than it ended up being.
One would expect a film entitled ‘Dismembering Christmas’ to be a rather explicit and gory one, but I was actually really disappointed with the amount of sanguine fluid shown on screen. I believe that the entire allotted amount of blood allowed by the film’s estimated $25,000 budget was saved for the last kill of the film as it was certainly the most blood-soaked one throughout, leaving the rest of the kills almost completely dry in comparison.
I know I sound like a real prick pointing out all of these bad qualities of the film, but I can’t just ignore this stuff. There are some things that Dismembering Christmas did have working in its favor, however. I actually was really impressed with the majority of the film’s camera work, which included an awesome long take at around the 25 minute mark of the film, showing all of the drunken friends scurrying off to their respective rooms for the night. There were multiple scenes that displayed this type of creative cinematography, bringing me at least some excitement during my rather underwhelming viewing experience. In addition to this, I did enjoy the variety of ways in which the kids were picked off. With a nod to another Christmas slasher, Silent Night, Deadly Night, there was a neat sled riding decapitation, along with unique use of candy cane and Christmas tree statuettes.
Dismembering Christmas had some true potential, but in the end, I felt as though it was a huge let down. The few positive things the film had going for it fall into the ‘too little, too late’ category and didn’t do much to change my overall opinion of the project. I wish I could say more great things about this one, but that’s just how the horror genre goes sometimes.
Give this one a shot and let me know if you agree or disagree with what I’ve had to say about it. I give Dismembering Christmas 1.5 razor-blade wreaths out of 5.