Thursday, December 20, 2012

Counting Down The 12 Disasters of Christmas: A Movie Review

Director: Steven R. Monroe.

Writer: Rudy Thauberger.

Cast: Ed Quinn, Magda Apanowicz and Holly Elissa.

Tagline: "Not a city was standing, not even a house."

The 12 Disasters of Christmas is one of those weird SyFy movies that almost works. It's watchable when the willing need to suspend disbelief and some cheesy entertainment is required for the night. When the holiday is seasoned with tons of television holiday bliss, to have a disaster movie inject criticism towards how mankind can easily mis-interpret what the end times mean is welcomed. Even though that is at the core of the final action, to get there is worth the two hours in front of the tube than to sing along to yule-tide bliss.

Part of the story deals with how Jacey (Magda Apanowicz) comes of age. She is the chosen one, the only character in this film who can save the world. That may make for a trite plot, but wait, there is more! In order to have a decent villain, Kane (Roark Critchlow) has to represent more than just his personal opinion. In the movie, he's allowing corporations to invade the municipality of Calvary and take away the small jobs.

Joseph (Ed Quinn), the father of Jacey, is dead against the concept. He will protest until the end of days. Fortunately, that is coming very soon as the signs of Earth's demise happens all around the town. First, birds will fall down dead from the sky. Second, water will turn muddy red. And third, shards of ice will rain from the heavens. When one of them kills his mom, he has to figure out what is going on.

God's wrath is not at work here, but instead, Earth's Geomagnetic field is going insane. This list above means plenty of CGI for this film to spotlight and not all of them are all that well made. When considering that this product is for television, most of the complaints often heard are common ones. They should get ignored than fretted upon.

Director Steven Monroe is a veteran of the SyFy scene and he's very acquainted with the demands of a network versus his own vision. Budget is everything, and fans of this network's Saturday night products are used to the idiosyncrasies. Monroe makes the best of the situation. He gets the actors to firmly believe that the lines from the Christmas carol, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," are indeed a warning of Earth's final days and it carries through in the performance. But when the song is sung every year, does that mean that a natural disaster will always happen? Real life has shown that after the holidays, a few threats have manifested like the earthquake that caused a massive tsunami to hit the Sumatra coast.

But as for why the story has to take place all around one town rather than a globe-hopping adventure, that's more of an issue to keep a television movie to stay in budget. No blame game can be created here. In the real world, the Mayans did not prophesize the end of the world, and the song is just a song. Because of this tune's many lyrical variations, just which version is used does not matter. Lyricists will find the interpretation of twelve drummers drumming to be very fitting. Several volcanoes appear, about to erupt. If disaster did happen, just what a partridge in a pear tree will mean would have been worth seeing. Maybe that is the only thing that will be left of the town?

Hard to say, but this film is worth a merry watch for those who hate holiday staples. Either that, or a holiday-themed slasher film will fit the bill for this season.

Overall: 4.5 out of 10.

More on the film is available at the SyFy Network:

12 Disasters of Christmas at SyFy

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