The Horror Honeys: The Snowpocalypse is Upon Us!

The Snowpocalypse is Upon Us!

A Sci-Fi Honey Holiday Horror Review by Katie

Snowmageddon (2011)

Love them or hate them, it just wouldn’t be the Christmas season without an annual holiday-themed disaster flick from the schlocky SyFy Channel. From Christmas Icetastrophe to The 12 Disasters of Christmas, there’s nary a sci-fi scenario that this network can’t apply to the most joyous time of year, wrecking everyone’s on-screen festivities for cheap audience amusement. Even if you’ve only seen Sharknado, you know what to expect from them all: sub-par special effects, cookie-cutter storylines, and poorly scripted dialogue delivered by B-grade actors. Today’s holiday horror feature, Snowmageddon, employs all three SyFy original movie tactics, but also accomplishes nothing short of a Christmas miracle: it manages to rise above the middle. Does it fail in every conceivable SyFy way? Of course it does. But is it kind of fun in the process? Even the Grinch himself would say “hell, yes!”

Snowmageddon is set in a fictional part of Alaska that is so adorably quaint; the name of the town is Normal. As local residents gear up for an unseasonably snow-free Christmas, we’re introduced to the Miller family: rugged dad John (David Cubitt), helicopter pilot mom Beth (Laura Harris, who I still only recognize from The Faculty), teenaged daughter Jennifer (Magda Apanowicz) and precocious son Rudy (Dylan Matzke). Rudy opens a random gift that mysteriously arrives on their doorstep – a snow globe that contains an eerily detailed likeness of their town, including a clock tower that bears the same incorrect time as the real clock in Normal’s town square. The family dog goes nuts around the snow globe (a common horror movie warning that no one seems to ever pay attention to), and as strange atmospheric things occur inside the miniature version of Normal, so do these events occur in their real-life town. The family is soon split up and battling various forms of inclement weather and natural disasters, all culminating in a Lord of the Rings-esque climax atop a volcano. Obviously.

Nothing is normal in Normal...
The main problem with this SyFy production – apart from the usual flaws listed above – is that it doesn’t wholly live up to the promise of its preposterous portmanteau title. ‘Snowmageddon’ implies a storm system unlike anything the world has seen, blanketing the town in a whiteout of deadly frostbite-inducing snowy mayhem. What we get is a cornucopia of other minor disasters – tremors, fires, angry-looking clouds – that wreak havoc on the citizens of Normal and the snowboarders who shred powder on the town’s outlying mountains. Aside from the hilariously inexplicable “ice bullets” that shoot through car windows and the bodies of unsuspecting passersby, the weather outside is not all that frightful.

It is pretty chilly, though.
If you can look past all of the aforementioned nonsense, Snowmageddon is actually pretty fun. Sure, the special effects are impeded by the limited budget afforded to these features – but fortunately for our eyes, there aren’t any otherworldly creatures here that need CGI rendering. Both the quality of acting as well as the script for a SyFy original movie typically ventures into unwatchable territory, but Snowmageddon’s troupe of performers are refreshingly adept at delivering all the hokey action-movie material at their disposal. Combine that with the ice bullets and the volcano, and you can add plenty of marks to this movie’s “win” column.

Also, adding “snow globe” to the compendium of cursed horror movie objects.
The best thing of all about Snowmageddon is that it sets the perfect mood to ignite your festive holiday horror spirit. In between your marathon of the numerous dreary Silent Night Deadly Night sequels, why not throw on something that is set in a picturesque village, the halls colorfully decked – like It’s a Wonderful Life, but with more flesh-piercing, window-shattering icicles? If that doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will.

Sci-Fi Honey Rating: Three ice bullets out of five

Snowmageddon is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Google Play
& blu-ray/DVD

Will you spend X-mas with SyFy?
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