Support Us!
Powered by
Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!



Tuesday, December 6, 2022

‘The Mean One’ Review – Unofficial Grinch Horror Movie Plays Out Like a SYFY Mockbuster

With the unprecedented success of Terrifier 2, Art the Clown cemented his place as a horror icon of the modern age. While the Terrifier franchise has become synonymous with Halloween, Art actor David Howard Thornton is slashing into Christmas with The Mean One, an unauthorized horror parody of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The indie film is directed by Steven LaMorte (Never Leave Alive) and written by Flip Kobler – best known for penning such direct-to-video Disney sequels as The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, Pocahontas 2: Journey to a New World, and Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas – and his son, Finn Kobler.

Nearly 20 years after an unidentified intruder dressed as Santa Claus kills her mother, Cindy You-Know-Who (Krystle Martin) returns to the small town of Newville with her father (Flip Kobler) to sell their family home. Cindy is skeptical about returning, but her therapist thinks closure will help alleviate her post-traumatic stress.

After her father is attacked by a Santa, Cindy is convinced that the Christmas killer from her youth is back, but her accusations of a furry, green perpetrator are dismissed by the locals. Cindy finds solace in a handsome police officer, Burke (Chase Mullins), while quarrelling with the gruff sheriff (Erik Baker) and snooty mayor (Amy Schumacher).

Cindy’s other ally comes in the form of the town drunk, Doc (John Bigham), who also had an encounter with the alleged creature. He’s set up to be the Quint to The Mean One‘s Jaws, but the character lacks both the gravitas and the impact on the plot. Meanwhile, Christopher Sanders channels Boris Karloff to intermittently deliver Seuss-esque narration that serves as connective tissue between scenes.

A concept this outrageous is begging to go full camp, but only occasional moments of self awareness shine among material that’s otherwise played straight. “Time to roast this beast” is choice writing (and should have been the movie’s tagline), there’s a humorous gag used to avoid the word “Grinch,” and the creature’s downfall is chuckle-worthy, if foreseeable.

The Mean One review

Those hoping for a Terrifer-style ’80s throwback slasher are likely to be frustrated by The Mean One, as it plays more like a Syfy mockbuster of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In addition to the disappointment of off-screen kills and digital blood, it suffers from all the trappings of a low budget horror film: a generic plot populated with one-dimensional characters, limited production value, stilted action, and a score that sounds like stock music.

Exteriors are given an unsightly, blue-heavy color grade; an intentional choice in an effort to make it appear cold, but it’s applied so heavy-handedly that it looks more like day-for-night photography gone wrong. It also detracts from the colorful holiday atmosphere, which isn’t particularly strong to begin with.

A majority of the performances border on melodramatic, but in the cast’s defense, so too does the material. Removing the monster from the equation, there’s an air of schmaltz to the proceedings. A young woman begrudgingly returning to her quaint hometown at Christmastime and falling for an unassuming local official is straight out of a Lifetime or Hallmark holiday movie.

Thornton carries the film on his back like a sack of presents, which comes as little surprise given his background. In addition to honing his skills as Art the Clown, Thornton was an understudy for The Grinch and played Grandpa Who on the first several national tours of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical.

No stranger to acting under makeup, Thornton utilizes his physical comedy experience to wordlessly (but not silently; unlike Art, The Mean One grunts and growls) convey menace in a playful manner. Tatjana Bluchel‘s creature design/makeup, which is reminiscent of a budget version of Jim Carrey’s take on the character, adequately allows for such expression.

It’s unlikely that The Mean One will spawn a cult following as voracious as Terrifier; if not for the Grinch gimmick and Thornton’s stunt casting, it would be lost in a sea of forgettable indie slashers. That’s no slight against the filmmakers; it’s competently made for its budget, and coming up with an appealing marketing hook is no small feat.

More like a stocking stuffer than a grand gift, The Mean One would pair well with Jack Frost for a spirited double feature of tongue-in-cheek Christmas horror. The fact that it’s receiving a theatrical release is deserving of commendation and support, but expectations should be tempered, as it won’t make horror fans’ hearts grow three sizes.

The Mean One releases in theaters on December 9, 2022.

The post ‘The Mean One’ Review – Unofficial Grinch Horror Movie Plays Out Like a SYFY Mockbuster appeared first on Bloody Disgusting!.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!

Got any friends who might like this scary horror stuff? GO AHEAD AND SHARE, SHARE!