"An original and delightfully gruesome slasher" — Cara Cusumano, TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL
Director: Dick Maas
Screenplay: Dick Maas
Cast: Huub Stapel, Egbert-Jan Weeber, Caro Lenssen, Bert Luppes, Escha Tanihatu
Producers: Dick Maas
Print Source: Seville Pictures
2011 | 23 min
Santa Claus is coming to town, and that’s bad news for everyone in this stylish Dutch oddity from the maker of THE LIFT! It’s Christmas season in Holland, and everyone’s excited. The streets are alive with cheer, festivities are about to kick off and the country is ready for endless joy. One lone police officer is not quite so happy about the holiday to come. Many years ago, in his childhood, this officer had the misfortune of seeing his family slaughtered by the REAL Saint Nicholas, and he’s since devoted his spare time to learning everything he can about the ghostly man’s history. Turns out, we’ve got it all wrong when it comes to Saint Nic. The real Saint Nic was a remorseless murderer in the 1500s who started out as a bishop before turning his back on the church and becoming a pirate, killing hundreds during his reign of terror. Eventually, on the day of December 5, the common folk had enough and burned Nic and his men alive, killing the killers and bringing peace to the land. For a while, anyway. As it happens, any time that a full moon occurs on December 5, the bloodthirsty bishop returns to terrorize Holland and kill anyone he runs across — women and children first!
So often these days, as fright-film fans, we get crazy excited to hear about a new horror film coming out of a far-away country not known for doing much in the genre, expecting something full of exoticism and eccentricity, only to get a generic production that might as well have been shot in New Jersey. This cannot be said of SAINT. To say the least, SAINT is a very Dutch horror film, packed with many Christmas stockings full of local flavour and bizarre terror sequences. It’s hard not to smile when faced with the image of a Freddy Krueger-like evil bishop, surrounded by demonic elves, stalking across snowy rooftops on horeseback! Meanwhile, the sequences with SAINT’s teen protagonists have the feel of an ’80s Wes Craven film, making for a very fun death dance in horror’s global melting pot. It’s directed with impressive, blockbuster-by-way-of-Bava flair by Dick Maas, a celebrated filmmaker who, beyond having one heck of a great name, has made not one but two successful films about killer elevators (THE LIFT and DOWN), as well as the just-as-greatly-named cult thriller AMSTERDAMNED. What more do you need to know? Dress for unusual weather and come celebrate the terrors of Sinterklaas with us!