The film appears to tell several, separate horror stories that take place around Christmas Eve and yet, in fact, the stories are all, pleasingly, linked and related in some way.
There are two framing and linking devices for the whole film and that is, the always exemplary and enjoyable, William Shatner as a Christmas loving DJ surrounded by jaded, horrible cynics and what appears to be Santa Claus in a magical North Pole battling zombie midget elves and, ultimately, Krampus himself.
Outside of these two ongoing tales we get kids in the basement of a haunted school, a traumatised cop's family that suddenly starts having big problems with their son and another family on a last minute, awkward road trip who have to face all their lies when they are chased and attacked by the Krampus.
None of these stories, on their own (except maybe Santa kicking zombie elf ass) would sustain a film, maybe not even a Tales From The Crypt episode, but throw them all in together, pepper the cast with a handful of 'wait, I know that guy' faces (from TV mostly), splash the gore and gloop around, have some laughs, some genuinely creepy scares and present it all with some pleasingly high production values and you've got yourself a fun, awesome, Christmas movie for the hungry horror comedy crowd.
The effects are a fantastic blend of CGI and practical with some excellent blood letting action. The Krampus design and performance is revealed slowly but once seen is very impressive and creative.
Not a lot of this suffered from the curse of either shaky cam or handheld video footage and the colors were bold, creative or naturalistic and never that browny green wash that plagues the worst of the horror remakes we've seen lately. It was shot and designed very well.
The performances are all strong with Shatner, Oluniké Adeliyi and George Buza as Santa being particular stand outs.
The only negative for me was the pacing which seemed a bit slow at points, even with so many stories being told, (although I can image editing all the different strands together was a bit of a chore) and also the wrap up of a couple of the stories felt a little rushed and could've done with some twistyer twists in the tale. These, however, are minor grumbles in what was a very enjoyable and fun viewing experience. I will be putting A Christmas Horror Story in my yearly rotation of cool seasonal films.
8 out of 10 bloody yule logs