December 15, 2013

Need Some Christmas Un-Cheer? Sint (2011)
The history of Dutch Horror Movies isn't all that prolific. We've seen a few Dutch offerings like Sl8n8 (Slaughter Night) and Dood Eind (Dead End), and thought them to be fairly entertaining in their own way, but didn't find them to be all that fantastic.

With Sint, we found ourselves excited to see a Killer Santa Claus flick made from a foreign perspective, because let's face it; Killer Santa flicks here in the U.S. are usually nothing but Slasher flicks that are looking to stir up some controversy.

Sint (Saint) is a story about Niklas, a former Saint better known to the Dutch as the legendary Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas is pretty much the inspiration for the far more popular legend of Santa Claus. Depending on where you are in the world, he's also known as Father Christmas, Joulupukki, Pere Noel... Yeah, he has a lot of names, but he also has a world full of kids to deliver toys to in a short 24 hour window, so, who are we to bitch?

In this movie though, he's just plain old Sinterklaas, so don't get it twisted.

In Sint, Niklas is a former Bishop who has fallen from the good graces of the Church. He's also an evil bastard who decides to start a gang that roams the countryside, raping, murdering, and plundering to their heart's content. Everything is going great for the merry band of scumbags until a lynch mob burns Niklas and his bloodthirsty men to death.

Revenge is vowed.
To everyone else, Sinterklaas is a sweet and joyful Christmas legend; one that is celebrated by Dutch people every year, especially children who love presents. Sinterklaas and his "elves" appear every year on December 5th, but only the December 5th's which coincide with a full moon, which is only every 32 years... Not sure what that's all about, but it's his thing. Anywho, when he does appear, he kills everybody, because, fuck people. 

"Yes, Sinterklaas will make you pass away if you don't go to sleep right now!"
The last full moon which fell on a December 5th was back in 1968. When Sinterklaas appeared that night, he and his Zwarte Pieten* killed all sorts of people, including the family of a small boy named Goert.

*For the record, the Zwarte Pieten (or Black Petes) are the Dutch equivalents of Santa's Elves... in black face. In Sint, the Black Petes are black because of being charred in the fire that killed them, not because of anything racist. Sure. No racism at all.

Why Al Sharpton has never marched on Amsterdam, we may never know.
Cut to 2010, where little Gorko (or whatever) is all grown up, and is now an Amsterdam Cop. Also, December 5th is rapidly approaching... and this year it coincides with a full moon! Gorky knows what this means, and tries his best to get everyone to cancel all of the Sinterklaas parties and what not, because he knows that they're all going to die if they don't.

Of course no one listens to him, and when the night of December 5th arrives, it finds Sinterklaas and his Racist Elves running around Amsterdam and slaughtering people at will, just as Gorky predicted. Together with some other dude, Gorky sets out to stop Sinterklaas once and for all.

Good luck with that, Gorko.
The idea of Sinteklaas and his Zwarte Pieten coming to life and slaughtering everyone that they come across, is an interesting one. Sint is a mostly engaging flick, doing a great job of setting the mood, and steeping its story in Legend. In many ways, It felt like a Dark Fairytale.

We really liked the flashback sequences (both 1492 & 1968), we loved the ethereal feel of the movie, and Sinterklaas was pretty fun and creepy to watch. Sint also contains homages to movies like Halloween & The Fog, and at times it even feels like it's tipping its hat to a Spielberg flick or two.

All in all, the movie was a pretty fun and interesting watch.

She's about to play "hide the nose" with that snowman.
Sint lacked focus. It started off fairly strong, but kinda fell apart as it wore on. It didn't really deliver the oomph that we though it would, and it kind of became more of an Action Comedy than a Horror movie, by the time all was said and done.

The back story of Sinterklaas could have been explored a bit more too. 10 minutes showing us how he fell from grace, and his subsequent actions leading up to forming his creepy band of murderers would have gone a long way towards fleshing the movie out a bit more.

Robert DeNiro?
Where did Lisa go? She's all over the movie for a while, and then she just kinda disappears... what a terrible waste of some good Caro Lenssen!

"You'll never find me. I'm hiding in a different movie lol."
 Sinterklaas and his Black Petes kill plenty of Dutch folk in bloody, nasty ways.

The legend of Santa Claus (no matter which version, or from whatever part of the world) is terrifying.

Yeah, Santa has an axe... now run!
Sint is a fun (if uneven) flick, that puts a new spin on the average Killer Santa movie. It's not as tight of a movie as we would have liked, and it's definitely a bit more "funny" than we prefer, but overall it was a fun watch that was well worth our time.

If you're looking for a different kind of Christmas Horror flick this Holiday Season, you should definitely give this one a go.


I don't know where this Caro Lenssen chick has been all of our lives, but she makes us love The Netherlands even more.


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