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Christmas Cruelty (O'Hellige Jul!) - Stonewall Productions - DVD Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Richard Taylor   
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
Review of Christmas Cruelty (O'Hellige Jul!) on Severed Cinema

AKA: O'Hellige Jul!, En Grym Jul!

Directed by: Per Ingvar Tomren, Magne Steinsvoll
Written by: Magne Steinsvoll, Per Ingvar Tomren, Eline Aasheim, Janne Iren Holseter, Anita Nyhagen
Produced by: Magne Steinsvoll, Kim Haldorsen, Raymond Volle
Cinematography by: Raymond Volle
Editing by: Per Ingvar Tomren
Special Effects by: Per Ingvar Tomren, Hilde Odegard
Music by: Magne Steinsvoll
Cast: Eline Aasheim, Tormod Lien, Magne Steinsvoll, Per-Ingvar Tomren, Raymond Talberg, Nina-Shanett Arntsen
Year: 2013
Country: Norway
Language: Norwegian (English Subtitles)
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 31min

Studio: Stonewall Productions

Unleashed from Norway in 2013, Christmas horror movies will never be the same again. Christmas Cruelty (O'Hellige Jul!) is an indie sleeper which evaded my radar, but luckily due to the generosity of co-director Per Ingvar Tomeron, I was able to snag a copy. This movie’s title spells it all out perfectly. In a nutshell we get cruelty in all forms as one of the most casual and equally demented serial killers on film dishes out his cruelty upon his targeted victims.

Christmas Cruelty opens with a bang, and pulls out all the stops on your senses. We get the killer (Tormod Lien) carrying out a home invasion, as he wreaks havoc on a terrified family with absolutely no mercy. This caught me off guard, and I found it to be very disturbing as a mother is raped in front of her family, and a baby is also killed in gruesome fashion with a circular saw. After this kick in the nuts opening, we are then introduced to the other characters, and actual makers of the film, who use their real names in the movie to portray their characters. The three friends are directors Per Ingvar Tomren, Magne Steinsvoll and co-writer Eline Aasheim. Our misfit friends are preparing some arts and crafts, like Krampus masks, to scare the unsuspecting, and making toxic mulled wine and other festivities for the holiday season. Little do they know that their female friend, Eline (Aasheim), is in the deranged sights of the serial killer we saw in the opening of the film.

Christmas Cruelty is an entertaining, but hard to watch film, due to its disturbing content and how merciless, cold and methodical the killer dispatches his victims make it tougher to withstand. The middle section of the movie slows down when we get caught up in the lives of the friends and this drags on. I figured they wanted to introduce the audience to the characters to build up some emotion for them before the shocking conclusion. We get scenes of the killer in his everyday government job, where he actually helps people, but also uses the company database to track down new victims. We also get a look at him with his family. The killer is portrayed as a typical overweight middle aged slob, always someone who you would never expect to be a monster. I love how they keep using these flashes and quick cuts to show his real twisted interior, as he reads a dark bedtime story to his daughter keeping his composure but laughing at the violent content on the inside. 

The friends are having a great time getting drunk and partying. Co-director and star Per Ingvar Tomren is actually wheelchair bound in real life -- a fact I didn't know until after I finished watching the movie. Tomren's friend and co-director Magnes Steinboll has no problem constantly insulting and giving him "friendly" abuse. The three plan a party at Tomren's apartment, but the killer has planned to strike on this joyous occasion, and has even broken out a tattered and creepy Santa Claus costume to carry out the deed.

The music for Christmas Cruelty is another definite hit. We get some great rock tracks, including the band The Last Rebels, who have a music video in the extras featured on the DVD. My personal favorite songs that rang a bell which I haven't heard in years come from Anneke Van Giersbergen who fronted the great doom rock band The Gathering for a stint. The gore in this is top-notch, and takes no fucking prisoners. Now mind you, the majority of it takes place during the conclusion, so stick with the friends in the film bickering and hanging out in the middle portion of the movie, and you won't be disappointed. The payoff is more than worth it. The slaughter scene in the apartment is some of the most sadistic shit I've seen in a while, and Tormod Lien absolutely owns this movie in all of his scenes. We get a head literally turned into mush by a hammer, a head sawed off, brutal stabbings and chainsaw dismemberment. The best scene has Tormod Lien visiting the hardware store because he runs out of tools to use in his killings in the apartment -- I shit you not -- we even see this close up shot of a circular saw in the store when he visits, as a reminder of what he used on that baby at the beginning of the movie.

Yes, Silent Night, Deadly Night is the epitome of Christmas slasher films, but Christmas Cruelty is way more mean spirited, tasteless and relentless in sheer unadulterated and disturbing violence. This is the feel good Christmas movie you've been waiting for this year, as Per Ingvar Tomren inscribed on this DVD: "Enjoy this slice of Norwegian Christmas!" It must be a hell of a time of the year there! To pick up Christmas Cruelty, contact Per Ingvar Tomren on Facebook and check out the Christmas Cruelty Facebook Page as well. You won't be sorry… or maybe you will be! Deck the halls with blood this Christmas and invite over your neighborhood serial killer to do in your ungrateful, self-centered friends.





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 Aspect Ratio: 16x9
 Region: NTSC R0
 Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo 5.1

 (Mostly in Norwegian only)
 - Commentary
 - Music video
 - Teaser
 - Bloopers
 - Interviews
 - Movie Premiere Footage
 - Short Film


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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 December 2016 )
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