The Family Line Part Two (Snow 2: Brain Freeze, 2008)

Snow_2_PosterNick and Sandy now live in their magic home together…she has big news, but everything keeps getting pushed aside, due to the stress of the impending holiday…after a fight, Nick decided to go somewhere to contemplate his feelings.

When he appears in a family’s shed and is startled, he is knocked unconscious. The end result is that Nick has lost his memory just days before Christmas. He ends up on the run with the help of a scheming little kid and the interference of Buck, who resents him to “stealing” Sandy.  Sandy is busy trying to reconnect with Nick and help restore his memory.

The film is kind of convoluted, it adds new elements like a magic book, with a keeper, an ancient order of believers who help keep Christmas alive in people’s hearts. Buck was an over the top villain in the first film, he is even more one dimensional here. There are a lot of plot points that seem to get lost, and the result is a less than engaging film.

I do like the leads, but the story just kind of leaves them even more lost than Nick’s memory.  I do not have much more to say than that…

The Family Line Part One (Snow, 2004)

Snow_PosterDays before Christmas, a poacher has captured one of Santa’s Reindeer and given it to a zoo.  Santa goes undercover to save his reindeer (and by Christmas).  Santa is part of a lineage that passes from father to son and it is Nick’s first year, so he is trying to not screw it all up.

Nick stays in the same boarding house as animal loving Zoo employee Sandy, who has been given his reindeer Buddy.  At the same time, the poacher, Buck, is pursuing Sandy in a major push to get into bed with her. She is repulsed by him in every way, from his personality to how he makes a living.

Tom Cavanaugh imbues the character of Nick Snowden with an off kilter, but friendly quietness. Ashley Williams brings a dedicated sweetness to Sandy. She is a true lover of animals. They are surrounded by quite a cast of goofy characters (Buck is played by the Last Exorcism’s Patrick Fabian who is perfectly sleazy), The horny elderly folks, a weak willed zoo employee and a little kid who sees no problem in blackmailing Santa Clause.

I appreciate that they put some thought into their own mythology. The Santa Legacy is given a unique spin of a wizard’s curse. The film is very light humor, it has its moments, but nothing is terribly hilarious. Again, I applaud some of the creativity in their building in the backstory, but overall this is pretty lackluster holiday fare.

The End of a Career Pt 1 (The Last Exorcism, 2010)

Last_Exorcism_PosterCotton Marcus is a charismatic preacher who has fallen into disbelief. This probably has a lot to do with his reliance on show stopping special effects to win over his audience. He has lost his belief in evil…and is ready to walk away from the pulpit. But he is participating in a documentary following his last big act…performing an exorcism. He does not believe he will be dealing with demons of course.

At first, when he arrives at the farm of the Sweetzer family, he plays up some drama. But they start to believe there is a much more human explanation.  But the young woman may actually be possessed.

Done in a found footage format, the film has really good performances. In fact, this is a really good film until it goes off the rails in the final fifteen minutes. At that point it gets very silly with it’s overdone demonic images, leaving behind any uncertainty about the young woman’s condition.

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