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Secret Santa

Canada 2015
produced by
Andre Becker, Michael Becker, Mike McMurran, Mary McMurran (executive), Gord McMurran (executive), Ernest Hillen (executive), Marta Tomins (executive) for Reel Phobia Productions, Autumn Cygnus Films, Beats in Heat Entertainment
directed by Mike McMurran
starring Annette Wozniak, Geoff Almond, Keegan Chambers, Brent Baird, Nicole Kawalez, Tony Nashed, Matthew Chisholm, Astrida Auza, Alexandra Simpson, Andre Becker, John Nicole, Brooke Zavitz
written by Mike McMurran, music by Andre Becker, special effects makeup by Carlos Henriques/The Butcher Shop

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Olivia's (Nicole Kawalez) Christmas party seems to be doomed from the start: She wants to introduce her friends to her new boyfriend Ramsey (Tony Nashed) - who's their history professor at college, which already is a little odd. Then her best friend Nicole (Annette Wozniak) picks exactly this occasion to confess to her boyfriend Bryan (Brent Baird) that she's secretly a webcam girl and really gets off masturbating in front of strangers. Another of Olivia's guests is Carissa (Keegan Chambers), the chronically drunk party girl who had an affair with Bryan and hasn't come over it - so much so that she fetches druggie Dwayne (Geoff Almond) for a bit of sex to make Bryan jealous, but to her despair he can't get it up in time. Plus, Olivia insisted on playing Secret Santa, but somehow the presents all come out dead wrong, and people get stuff like chainsaws and used meat cleavers and that sort of stuff. Being the hopeless optimist that she is, Olivia tries her best to iron everything out, no matter how hopeless the situation ... but there's a masked killer in the house, who has of course repackaged the "Secret Santa"-gifts him or herself - and now he kills the attendants of the party with their respective "gifts" one after the other ...


Sure, upon objective appraisal Secret Santa is a slasher movie - it just doesn't feel like one, and that's meant as a compliment: Basically the movie is really funny, but not in the genre-conscious way Scream was funny, but genuinely funny, putting likeable and quirky characters into hilarious situations that invariably help plot or character development, but without being genre clichés or the like. And add to that a light footed directorial approach, and also plenty of suspense and gruesome killings ... and you've got a movie you'll probably really enjoy no matter if you're at all into slashers or not!


Screener courtesy of the Blood in the Snow Canadian Film Festival, November 27th - 29th 2015, Carlton Cinemas, Toronto, ON -


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD