The Horror Honeys: Christmas Is Whatever You Want it to Be

Christmas Is Whatever You Want it to Be

A Revenge Honey "Screw Holiday Cheer" Review by Linnie


White Reindeer (2013)

For those who like their holiday films more Wes Anderson than Frank Capra, Zach Clark's White Reindeer is poised to become your new Christmas favorite. It definitely just became one of mine.

Not So Holly Jolly Plot: When Christmas-loving Suzanne Barrington's husband is shot in the head during a home burglary right before her favorite holiday, she is left trying to pick up the pieces of her life while attempting to keep in the spirit of the season. This becomes a wee bit more complicated, however, when Suzanne starts making some startling discoveries about her husband's pastimes. Alone, shattered, and confused, Suzanne finds solace in drugs, online shopping, her swinging neighbors, and a number of unlikely new friends via the local strip club, all while clinging to whatever holiday joy she has left.

The Star: As Suzanne, White Reindeer is Anna Margaret Hollyman's film and she is a revelation. Even in the film's earlier moments, when everything in her life is still as it should be, Hollyman colors Suzanne with an undercurrent of sweetness cut with bubbling chaos that renders her utterly endearing. There is something almost delicate about her performance as a woman whose perfect life has just fallen part, that the moments when she lets loose are even more fun to watch. You can absolutely buy that this is a lady who would go from cashmere-wearing real estate agent to shoplifting cocaine lover with the flip of an unfortunate switch.

My One Gripe: Parents of the world! If your daughter's husband has just been murdered in their home, probably not the best time to tell her you're separating, just days later. While this particular scene was painfully awkward, and thus, fairly hilarious, it was really unnecessary to the plot as a whole and just made Suzanne's parents look like dicks. I was waiting for a resolution there that never actually came.

Overall: White Reindeer is dark, weird, twisted, and the perfect holiday film if you aren't exactly going door to door singing Christmas Carols every December. Zach Clark's direction is elegant and loving, and his script is both hilarious and completely believable. Some of White Reindeer's best moments come in the uncomfortable silences of watching Suzanne experience life without her husband, and these scenes make Reindeer a brilliant dark comedy. In someone else's hands, these moments would just be awkward. In Clark's hands, they are awkward and funny.

If you have the opportunity to see White Reindeer this winter, I highly recommend it.

Revenge Honey Rating: 4 and 1/2 Maxed Out Credit Cards out of 5