The Twelve Days of Christmas horror continues with this different take on the tradition of Christmas. Set in Amsterdam it looks at the Netherlands’ tradition of Saint Niklas and his helpers collectively known as Black Pete. Not sure if this is the filmmakers take on the legend or if they really have a darker version of the holidays.
The movie kicks off in the middle ages where we see a greedy Bishop and his men looting a town and terrorizing the locals while they collect their “offerings”. Look it up kids the Catholic Church wasn’t very nice back then. The locals get fed up and set fire to the ship in the harbor burning up both the Bishop and his men. Thus, leading to the legend of Saint Niklas and Black Peter… because they were all toasty and burned up. Get it? Fast forward to nineteen sixty-eight and we meet Goert who is tending the pigs while the rest of his family is celebrating Christmas. That is a lucky break for him because the now ghostly Saint Niklas arrives and kills his entire family!
Jumping forward again to “today” we see a much older Goert, now a police officer, on a crusade trying to warn everyone. Whenever there is a full moon on the fifth of December, the day he was killed, the ghost of Niklas returns with his men to murder and “collect” children. Of course, no one believes him until the bodies start to fall and people begin to go missing. But even then, it seems as if they are trying to prevent him from fighting back. Why? Well there are reasons that I found interesting and that tie into the ending, so I won’t spoil it here. Toss in a teenage boy who gets accused of murder when his friends are killed as Goert’s sidekick and you have the plot of Saint.
This is a great movie that I picked up years ago when it was first released on DVD and that I revisit every December. The plot is fast to kick off and quickly sets up not only the story but establishes the world of Niklas so that an audience not familiar with the legend can follow along. Many foreign horror movies don’t do that and lose US audiences because of it. The action continues until the very end, which itself is a blast. Hah watch the movie to see how funny I’m being. I liked the character of Goert as well as that of Frank, the teen accused of murder. It was interesting how I thought the movie was setting up Lisa to be the main character, but she ends up as the love interest of Frank and disappears for most of the story.
|Niklas has seen better days!|
The kills in Saint have a healthy amount of CGI, which didn’t thrill me. Though they do make up for it with some practical work and fun death scenes. There are heads getting lopped off, another character gets split in half, and they drop a chimney on a couple cops. There is even a bit with a nurse that has a real Halloween II vibe to it that put a smile on my face. Now this next bit is going to sound twisted, but what the Hell! Niklas and his men kill/kidnap a lot of kids in this movie, but they never show any of that. Come on you set the guy up to be a monster so let’s see it. That is my only complaint and it is a minor one… Get it? Minor? Hah I did it again with the jokes!
While not the version of Santa Claus that we are used to here in the US I still am including it in my marathon. One jolly old murderous Saint Nick is as good as another. Plus, I’m all about respecting and including the traditions of other cultures here at the Horror Dude Blog. I highly recommend Saint for your holiday viewing pleasure.
© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer