I apologise for the lateness of this review, every year I forget just how busy and messed up my life can get during the festive period. However, bare with me, for Brian Keene’s The Naughty List , is a film worth watching at any time of the year.
Based on the excellent short story The Siqquism Who Stole Christmas featuring two of Keene’s most enduring characters Vince and Tony, who are like a sort of bizarro / antimatter version of Hap and Leonard and their memorable encounter with the man in red, is everything a short horror film should be.
High production values and tight direction from Paul Campion, the man behindDevil’s Rock (the very first film I ever reviewed) fight with three excellent performances for the star of the show. Vincenzo Nicoli is perfect as the world weary Tony Genova, a no-nonsense hard nose gangster, is a perfect counterfoil to the wide-eyed almost innocent portrayal of Vince by Sebastian Knapp, the weird offspring of Steve Buscemi and Elijah Wood. The chemistry between the two is electric, and hopefully, with any luck, we will see further adventures from this hapless duo.
Mac Elsey’s Santa Clause mixes ho ho ho charm with a lovely dark streak, you want a Bad Santa, then this is the original bad Santa.
The Naughty List is a short but captivating watch, ideal for those new to Brian’s work, and perfect for those of us who are long-term fans with the nods and winks to some of his other work; I raised a wry smile when the names of gangsters were rolled off.
Until watching this A Wish For Wings that Work was my favourite festive movie, sorry Bill and Opus, you have been usurped, The Naughty List now sits at the top of my list.