Hello my fellow fiends of fright! I recently had the chance to check out the Xmas short, AXEMAS, just in time for late March! This short is written and directed by John Ward and I’m sure you can guess what this film will entail. To give you an idea of what this mini film is about, here’s a mini break down of the plot:

“A group of friends stay overnight to party in a storage unit complex while an axe wielding Santa lurks in the shadows.” 

Considering the run time for this short is roughly 23 minutes, it actually packed in all the typical slasher genre tropes us horror fans look for and usually praise. The first thing I want to mention in this aspect is the group of friends staying in a relatively dumb place to party and have sex. This is something you can easily find in most slasher films. Night of the Demons is one that comes to mind as I write this.

The next thing I really appreciated about AXEMAS was the fact that it’s a Christmas horror film, but not just a horror film, particularly a slasher. I really enjoyed that because it holds true to the historical film element of the ‘slasher Santa’. I mean, if you really think about it, a guy that slides down your chimney to deliver presents could easily do the same to deliver a bomb, or even an axe to the head while you sleep.

The last thing I found to fit the rest of the added elements was the twist reveal at the end of the film. Typically, slasher films do have some sort of ridiculous or ironic twist reveal at the end. Some films that come to mind would be Happy Birthday to Me or even Alice, Sweet Alice. I think AXEMASexecuted that element really successfully and actually left me wanting to see a more expanded version of the film.

With that in mind, the Slasher Santa thing is also kind of played out and I think general genre fans are more interested in the rising popularity of Krampus as it’s becoming more of a household name. It’s even on a regular movie lineup of horror holiday films for genre fans. That said, I still found AXEMAS fun for what it was and it was a nice little peek back into the holiday season for me, considering it’s now almost April.

Overall, I enjoyed this short. It was a fun nod to the slasher genre and more specifically the Slasher Santa idea that’s been tossed around over generations. You can find this short on YouTube and I like I mentioned before, the run time is only roughly 23 minutes long not including credits so definitely check it out and soak in that ridiculous familiarity.

Devin March
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