A very smart and resourceful boy Thomas is left alone with his grandfather on Christmas Eve, when a psychopath, disguised as Santa Claus, enters their house. Thomas will do everything to protect himself and grandpa.
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Imagine my surprise when I learned about another New Year’s horror film, which is positioned as a French response to American slashers like Silent Night, Deadly Night, where the main character is a maniac dressed as Santa Claus. Moreover, my surprise was so high that I did not postpone this film until the New Year holidays, as I usually do, and proceeded to immediately review it.
The plot of the film “Code of Santa Claus 3615” tells about a boy named Thomas. He is a child prodigy who has so many talents. And due to the fact that he is the son of the owner of a toy factory, he has not only the soil for the development of these same talents, but also the scope of imagination for games (for example, he converted the huge mansion where he lives into his playground) … Despite this, he is still a child who desperately believes in Santa Claus. He believes so much that he is even ready to look for him on the Internet and correspond with him, naively believing that he does not communicate with a pedophile, eager to take advantage of the child’s naivety and find out the address of his residence.
As a result, what should have become the dream of any child turns into a real nightmare. Instead of giving joy to the child, Santa Claus, who arrived at the orphanage, begins to hunt directly for Thomas around the huge mansion. But this is only half the trouble. In addition to Thomas, in the house there is also his grandfather, a half-blind old man with diabetes, who needs protection no less than a child, and a mother who is late at work is on her way home and does not know about the danger.
It all sounds creepy, doesn’t it? But does the film cope with the task of scaring the viewer? No. But it keeps you in suspense well. Revealing the main antagonist, the events of the film begin to unfold very rapidly and do not let go until the final credits. The setting in the form of a large mansion also adds suspense, because this is the place that is home to the main character. And now, where he could feel safe, it became a trap for him, because the mansion is large and the maniac can hide anywhere, and it is not always easy to calculate his location. Plus, the main characters are a child and an old man. And this gives an additional reason for empathy.
Of course, after such a description, the film may evoke an association with “Home Alone”, but these two films are united only by the idea that a child is forced to fight against an adult, using the peculiarities of his house and traps. To say that this film was released on the wave of the success of “One House” is impossible, since “3615 code of Santa Claus” was released in 1989, that is, a year before the release of “One House” itself. Yes, there are pitfalls, but they are not implemented as well. True, the film gives a logical explanation for this, because Thomas, unlike Kevin McCallister, did not know about the upcoming attack and was forced to use only what he had previously made for his games, or what he was able to do on the go. But to be honest, even what is shown in “3615 …” looks much cooler than the traps in “Home Alone 4”.
As for the actors, I would like to single out only three. Alain Lalanne, who played Thomas, played his role quite well. He didnt reach the charisma of, say, the kids from It or Very Strange Things, but he tried to give out the necessary emotions and did not irritate them. Not bad for a child. True, if he did not mow under the heroes of the action movies of the 80s, it would have been better. It looked funny at first, but then it began to look very silly. Louis Ducreux also played his grandfather well. A sweet old man who loves his grandson very much and wants to protect him. But the trouble is that due to the nature of his health, he needs protection even more than his grandson. There was a certain chemistry between these two actors, I believed in their sincere friendship and therefore I wanted to empathize with them even more. And the main star for me was Patrick Fleurm as a maniac. His acting is wonderful. Alienated, embittered by the whole world, a person who has not managed to find his place in the world. The very fact that he is drawn to the children in the opening scene looks creepy. And the further I got to know him, the more terrible he became.
Now about the disadvantages. In addition to the above-mentioned unnecessary references to the cult action movies of the 80s, the film also contains nonsense (for example, by the end the maniac began to be blunt, although before that he showed that he was far from stupid) and unnecessary scenes (for example, the “help” of his best friend Thomas, who did not affect anything). But the biggest disappointment was that the film was not a slasher. Yes, there are murders in the film. And without good kills, a horror movie cannot be called a slasher. And I don’t really understand why this film is called the answer to American films of this genre. If the French wanted to make a more intense horror film on a similar theme and thus emphasize that American films are not capable of this, but take only operational elements, then this is really a worthy answer. But if not, then it is not clear why it is positioned that way? So if you want to watch this movie just because you think it’s a slasher, then forget it. In this regard, he will disappoint you.
To the rest, I want to recommend this film. Despite all the drawbacks, this is quite a good, even in its own way original, Christmas-themed horror film, filled with suspense and tension. If you, like me, love to watch horror movies on the New Year’s theme, this movie is a very good choice.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (89.7 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
French: Dolby Digital 2.0 (640 kb/s)