Thursday, November 27, 2014

Brandon Engels Black Friday Viewing Guide

I am once again pleased to present a article written by Brandon Engel in which he lists the five essential films to watch once Black Friday rolls in; 

Black Friday Viewing Guide

As the holiday season kicks in, many people look at “Black Friday” with a sense of excitement and dread thanks to the allure of great deals on presents and other goodies. However, the rat race-style shopping mania on the day after Thanksgiving causes others to hold a more cynical view of the whole concept.

Spending Black Friday indoors watching movies with family and friends is a tradition for many who’d rather not join in the mad rush of consumerism. Given the mixed emotions surrounding this day, horror movies are a great choice for those looking into the darker and scarier side of the beginning of the Christmas season. The following essential Black Friday horror list will get this special movie day rolling.

Number 5: Gremlins

Gremlins serves up a dose of humor and chaos set in the holiday season in a small American town. The whole story, in fact, revolves around a Christmas present that a loving grandfather, played by Hoyt Axton, finds in a shop full of odds and ends. A cute furry animal with big eyes grabs his attention. What he doesn’t know is that eating or coming into contact with water at the wrong time will have consequences that will bring the entire town to the edge of destruction.

Number 4: Silent Night, Deadly Night

The jolly Santa we have come to know also has a creepy side that makes appearances in several movies. Perhaps no movie has taken this idea quite as far as Silent Night, Deadly Night, though. Playing off of the idea that Santa punishes bad children as well as brings gifts to the well-behaved, the movie plunges us straight into the world of Billy Chapman, whose family quite literally gets punished by Santa. A man dressed as Santa breaks into Billy’s home, disables the alarm system and brutally murders both of his parents, leaving Billy an orphan in an abusive environment. These traumatic events add up and reach a breaking point when a teenage Billy, played by Robert Brian Wilson, ends up having to dress like Santa, sending him into a spiral of violence. Silent Night, Deadly Night is only available on DVD as of this writing.

Number 3: Rare Exports

This critically-acclaimed film brings viewers to a remote location in the Arctic where unsettling things have been happening. Eventually, archeologists extract Santa Claus, or at least Santa’s long-lost cousin, from a suspicious mound that has been the source of rumors among locals. The real trouble, though, comes after this malevolent Santa starts kidnapping kids. Although it takes them a while to put the puzzle together, the local hunters eventually band together to catch Santa and send him packing back to the people who dug him up in the first place. What they don’t know is that Santa’s little helpers have figured out the plan, which sets the scene for an epic Christmas showdown.

Number 2: Santa’s Slay

This Santa origin movie leaves viewers with no doubt where Santa really comes from. He is from hell, and he lost a bet and now has to play the role of an elf that gives presents to kids. Every bet expires at some time, though, and after 1,000 years, this bet has run its course. When Santa (played by Bill Goldberg) frees himself from his obligation, he gets down to the killing that has always been in his heart. He even kills James Caan’s character, a treat for any cinephile. Although the movie was obviously put together on a tight budget, watching Santa go berserk always makes for good Black Friday viewing.

Number 1: Black Christmas

Aptly named, the number one spot on the list goes to Black Christmas, a Canadian contribution to dark Christmas stories. A house full of sorority sisters in abuzz with the excitement of the holiday break as the girls make plans. Right at this time, they start getting phone calls that aren’t full of best wishes for the holidays. In fact, the calls disturb the girls on many levels, but the police don’t share their concern. As it turns out, they were right to be frightened by the calls and it isn’t long before someone shows up dead. She won’t be the last during this horrific romp through a holiday break gone very wrong.

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