Sint (known as Saint here in the United States) is a contribution from the Netherlands. In this horror film, Saint Nick was not such a nice guy. He was a disgraced Bishop who would lead his followers to slaughter and pillage villages. The people seek revenge and kill Saint Nick and his band of ruffians…but this causes a curse. The film jumps up to 1968 and a family relaxing on December 5th. The house is besieged by strange little monsters who kill all but one member of the family. Then the film makes one more jump to the present.
It turns out that when there is a full moon on December 5th, Saint Nick returns to punish the naughty. In modern society, that means pretty much anybody. Goert, the kid that survived, grew up to be a policeman. He is a bit on edge some years later (the film is a little vague, one character says it occurs every thirty two years, another every 23 years, and one character refers to the death of the officer’s family being forty years ago, but if the film takes place in 2010? It is over fifty years). The film combines Old Saint Nick with the Krampus and gives us a rather bloody vision of holiday shenanigans.
The film has a bit of a misdirect, making it look like one character is the lead, but killing them off at the start of the action. Meanwhile a guy named Frank and his buddies are dressed as Saint Nick and Black Petes (this particular bit of folklore is highly controversial as most of the people who dress up as the character are wearing black face, as Frank’s buddies are). The Black Petes with the real Saint Nick are his troll like minions. Of course, the police do not believe Frank when he says the Real Saint Nick and his Black Petes killed Frank’s friends.
Frank and Goert team up to fight Saint Nicholas and crazy action ensues.
The film may be a bit off-putting for American audiences, as our horror films have always treated the death of children as taboo. While the film does not show graphic attacks on children, it is implied that terrible things happen to them.
Sint is visually striking (there is a nicely done scene with the police chasing Nicholas as he rides his horse across roof tops). The makeup for Saint Nicholas is effectively gruesome. The film is quite well done, though rarely breaks from the most standard of horror movie tropes. Nobody believes the people who know what is really going on. Two lone believers team up. People keep interfering with their attempts to defeat the monster. The final jump scare. There is a massive cover up. But still, it is a pretty decent effort that horror fans should enjoy.
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