Holiday anthologies, especially Christmas ones, are one of my favorite things. Three years ago, when I first started writing for PopHorror, I had the pleasure of reviewing Concept Media’s Holiday Horror anthology Season’s Greetings (read our review – here). Imagine my surprise when I was given the opportunity to check out Season’s Greetings 2, the sequel that no one even knew had been made. To say I was excited was an understatement. I’m even more excited to say that Season’s Greetings 2 surpassed the original in damn near every way. Read on for my thoughts!
Brought to you by Concept Media, Heckles & Horror, Taintbad Productions & B Dynamic Pictures, Season’s Greetings 2 is the sequel to 2015’s Season’s Greetings. The film stars Rebekah Erb, Courtney Clark, Kaylee Williams, Payton Pleska, Stephen J. Hodke, Andrew Moore, Tim Phelps, Brittany Blanton, Emily McAnulty, Rob Collins, Anthony Brownlee, and Travis Wilson.
The first segment, The Manger, was written and directed by Brittany Blanton. It stars Rebekah Erb, Courtney Clark, and Kaylee Williams. The story involves ritual sacrifice and is part a twisted love story and part revenge story. Rebekah Erb is someone I have been wanting to see more of since seeing her in Tony Walter’s short film June, where her performance blew me away. She doesn’t disappoint, giving another intense and powerful performance. Courtney Clark is someone that I am used to seeing play the victim, as she did in Slaughterhouse: House of Whores 2.5. It was refreshing to see her play a villain, especially one that occupies a gray area and isn’t purely evil. The segment features some cool creature effects and some nice gore. This is the second directorial effort I have seen from Brittany Blanton and at this point, I am dying to see her direct a feature.
The second segment, Merry Fucking Christmas was written and directed by Rob Collins. It stars Payton Pleska, Brian McIntyre, and Stephen J. Hodke. The segment follows a young woman, who is spending Christmas alone after a recent breakup, who encounters a serial killer. I really enjoyed this segment. I liked the way it was shot, with the camera following Payton throughout the apartment. It works well to build the tension, especially when we already know a killer is lurking and she doesn’t. Stephen J. Hodke is pretty creepy with his singing of Christmas Carols and the like. Payton Pleska is a badass as the segments heroine and while here fight with the killer is pretty brief, it’s definitely memorable. I look forward to seeing her in future roles.
The final segment, The Naughty List was written and directed by Travis Wilson. The segment stars Tim Phelps, Andrew Moore, Brittany Blanton, Emily McAnulty, Rob Collins, Kaylee Williams, and Anthony Brownlee. The story follows a group of young people trying to survive an assault by a psychotic elf who is sent by Santa to eliminate them for being a little too naughty. Yep, you read that right. This just might be my favorite segment. First off, the elf is creepy as fuck, wearing an awesome mask made by Concept Media’s Shawn Burkett. I seriously want one. Secondly, the kills are fairly gory and pretty creative, with more of the cast being dispatched in increasingly violent ways with candy canes and such. Third, the idea that Santa would put a hit on people is kinda ridiculous but it works extremely well. Lastly, the film is just super fun to watch. I kinda didn’t want it to end as I was having a blast.
Increasing the grue and the production values, Season’s Greetings 2 is a significant improvement on the first film. The film offers an excellent cast/crew, serial killers, homicidal elves, and human sacrificing fallen angels. If you enjoy Christmas Horror and/or anthology films, I highly recommend Season’s Greetings 2.