I finally managed to cross this one of my 'slasher films I must see' list and have to say I was quite disappointed with it!!
Young Billy has 'the fear' put into him by his loony old grandpa and is then forced to witness the murder of his parents by a guy in a santa suit, all in the same day.
Orphaned, he is sent to a convent school and continues to witness 'bad' things such as the older kids having sex and struggles to fit in, before finally going whacko and beginning a killing spree dressed as who else but........santa!!
Surrounded by controversy upon release, due to it's graphic content and violent nature, I was expecting a hell of a lot from this movie and whilst it mildly delivered some of the good stuff, overall it aint that impressive.
The opening was quite unsettling and the infamous murder of Billy's parents was quite graphic, but it's nothing that hasn't been done countless times before.
The story annoyed me because it then spent a large amount of time trying to show us how the tragedy was affecting Billy every day and it was quite frankly rather dull! So he catches some kids shagging and has a fear of santa? Big deal, all kids have adjustment problems!!
Billy survives his teens and then we have to spend time watching an 80's music montage as he deals with his first job...get on with the killing already, this is a horror movie!!
When Billy finally picks up an axe, we do get some good deaths, a few decent scares and even some clever female characters (one woman despite being drunk, has the good knowledge to phone the cops and try to smash her way out of a building with an axe after she has knocked out the killer and managed to keep hold of the weapon).
As we plod forward to our conclusion, you pray that the annoying bitch mother superior (excellently played by Lilyan Chauvin) will get it and then the ending is a cop out!!
The obligatory set up for the sequel is pretty lame too!!
In the end, this is not a bad film, it does try to develop it's characters and show us something other than the standard stalk and slash of the day, but then that is probably why most viewers had wanted to see it in the first place.