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REVIEW – Saint (2010)

October 25, 2011

THE ZONE has my review of Dick Maas’ Evil Santa horror movie Saint (a.k.a. Sint).

Well… I say that this is another addition to the growing sub-genre of Evil Santa movies but in truth, the film works best if you don’t see it as a deconstruction of Santa Claus.  Let me explain what I mean: Saint is an Evil Santa film but rather than deconstructing the American figure of Santa Claus, Maas focuses instead upon the North European figure of Saint Nicholas, a mythological being whose relationship with our Santa is tenuous at best.  As I explain in my review, Saint works best if, instead of seeing it as the story of an evil Santa Claus, you see it as the story of a medieval Bishop who terrorises modern-day Amsterdam. In effect, this interpretation of Saint positions it as a deconstruction of Catholicism rather than Father Christmas:

Who the fuck are these withered old bastards and where do they get off telling us what to do? The idea that the Catholic Church is now nothing more than a morally putrescent corpse imbues Saint with a strong satirical edge. Indeed, the modern Catholic Church behaves very much like the film’s Saint Nicholas, a hideous and antiquated authority figure that ‘hates everyone’ and routinely abducts children in order to force them into servitude. Indeed, the power of Maas’ surreal confrontations between myth and reality owes quite a bit to the absurdity of a medieval institution operating in the modern world. We all know that the world was not created in six days, we all know that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality, and we all know that women should have the absolute right to choose… so why do we listen to a cadre of elderly men in skirts and hats who tell us that we are not only wrong but damned?

Regardless of whether or not you buy into my anti-clerical reading of the film, Saint is one of the most entertaining high-concept horror films out there.

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