Oh, how we love a good Christmas tale. We love Christmas tales that warm the heart, but we also love Christmas tales that chill the blood. Saint Nick almost fits the bill for some holiday horrors.
First, don’t confuse Saint Nick, aka Sinterklass, with Santa Claus. Saint Nick was never the first toy maker to the king and never lived at the North Pole. Nick actually hails from Turkey via Spain. Instead of reindeer Sinterklass gets a little help from Zwarte Piet (translated into English as Black Peter) and the gang of Pieten. Gifts are given to the good children while bad children get coal in their shoes, not in their stockings.
Why are we telling you all of this Saint Nick background? Because the Nick in Saint Nick isn’t holly nor is he jolly. Way back in the day Amsterdam villagers had enough of his evil ways. Banding together the village offed Saint Nick and his crew condemning them to their ship. They all thought everything was going to be okay, but little did they realize every December 5th when there’s a full moon Saint Nick comes back to kill at will. Saint Nick doesn’t care who’s been naughty or nice.
Saint Nick (aka Saint) takes place on one of those full moon December 5th nights. It starts off on a rather ghoulish note. In the winter of 1968 Nick and his gang slaughter an entire family. Fast forward another thirty something years and a full moon later Saint Nick is back in town.
Saint Nick lulls you into the false believe that you are about to watch a horror movie. It’s natural to think the movie you are watching is going to be a full blown horror movie after you see an entire family being killed. Saint Nick though comes across more of a comedy movie than a horror movie.
The movie has the required teenager quotient to adult ratio required for horror movies of this kind. It’s nice to see teenagers not taking over a horror movie like in other horror movies. In fact, most of the teens are killed off by Saint Nick in the first act of the movie. Only Frank, who is accused of the murders occurring in Amsterdam, makes it through the movie.
A wrongly accused Frank teams up with Amsterdam police officer Goert Hoekstra. Hoekstra believes in the evil Saint Nick myth so deeply his investigations sideline his career. The disgraced cop who teams up with someone outside the police force for (insert various reasons here) is an over used cliche. It doesn’t work here anymore than it has in the dozens and dozens of movies that have used the same cliche.
In the second act of the movie there’s a pretty cool chase scene involving cops and Saint Nick. It’s one of the high lights of the movie that leads to the final showdown between Frank, Saint Nick, and an Amsterdam tactical team armed to the teeth. Of course, Frank wins the fight but not before Hoekstra dies.
What makes Saint Nick a little different from the rest of the Santa Claus as a killer movies is the larger conspiracy playing throughout the movie. While Frank and Hoekstra are fighting to save Amsterdam the big wigs in the government are busy keeping things quiet. By the end of the movie Saint Nick hadn’t killed anyone. It was a building fire and a serial killer cop responsible for a lot of deaths.
Saint Nick may not scare you. You may also laugh at scenes the director never intended to be comical and you may find some of the scenes either not gory enough or too gory. It’s still a fun, short movie. If anything its time away from the typical Hallmark Christmas movies flooding the networks this time of the year.