Before settling in with the crazy seasonal import from The Netherlands called Saint, you need some basic information ... if you're American, that is:
1. Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus are not the same person.
2. Saint Nicholas is allowed to kill children whenever a full moon happens to fall on December 5th.
3. Saint Nicholas takes great pleasure in his work.
A certifiably insane piece of holiday horror from prolific filmmaker Dick Maas (Amsterdamned, The Lift, Killer Babies), Saint (aka Sint) is a slick, sick, and unapologetically twisted concoction of horror, action, and (of course) comedy. Fans of the nasty stuff will find a bunch of gruesome kills, the action junkies will get two or three legitimately well-constructed sequences of mayhem, and the ever-important tone of the piece is consistently playful, slyly subversive, and admirably energetic.
We start out with an extended homage to John Carpenter's Halloween; several cute young ladies are discussing their holiday plans of boys and babysitting... and then all bets are off. Before long you'll be witness to a very creative car chase between cops (on the street) and our villainous saint (riding across rooftops), a series of enjoyably gory dispatches, and an amusing heroic duo: the disgraced cop who told everyone St. Nick was coming (of course), and a nice teenage kid who just recently escaped from an attack from a corps of "Black Peters" (It makes sense in the film, although you'll probably need the subtitles).
Mr. Maas seems to toss a little bit of everyone into this seasonal stew: Spielberg, Carpenter, a nice helping of Joe Dante's manic sensibilities, etc. Saint has a fine polish, an impressive score, an expeditious pace, and a generous handful of goofy little treats to enjoy. Saint may not be as quietly sublime as another recent Christmas flick (the Finnish Rare Exports), but it definitely has a cockeyed charm, some truly clever ideas, and (again) more than enough energy to pull it all off. Were the flick to slow down a few more times, we'd start to realize how silly all this stuff is. But the director and the cast seem to be having some giddy good fun with this Christmas carnage collection.
All that, plus you'll learn a few things about holidays in other cultures (That's what you can tell your wife if she walks in during one of the disembowelment scenes).