We’ve reviewed several of Craig Fisher’s shorts and A Christmas Nightmare opens with a reference to one of them, The Midnight Jester. The Jester’s little friend Jolly Jim serves as host for the Creepshow like animated introduction and coda.
It’s Christmas Eve in Wales and Emyr (Matthew Campbell, You’ve Been Bad) is getting told a bedtime story by his mother (Joanna Griffiths, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer). A story about Santa’s evil brother who punishes bad little girls and boys. And Emyr has been very bad, he’s painted his fingernails. That’s something boys don’t do.
It doesn’t get any better for him when a neighbour stops by and lets it slip that he’s been helping out at her salon, not off playing football. Which just stokes their fears that he’s “a bit of a poofter”. Up in his room, Emyr hears a growl. And a knocking on his door…
A Christmas Nightmare is a Krampus tale with a twist. One that makes for a most satisfying ending. It also makes a point about homophobia and toxic parenting. It packs a lot into its twelve-minute running time.
The Krampus (Tim Stokes) is a creepy looking thing. It benefits greatly from being an actor in makeup rather than the dodgy CGI used in the likes of Krampus: The Reckoning. The effects for his victims are well done if a bit dry. But the intent was more dark humour than gore I think, so it’s fitting.
Fisher is planning to enter A Christmas Nightmare into several festivals, so be watching for it.