Santa Claws (2014) movie review
That “The Asylum” production logo at the beginning of the above trailer above should serve as a warning – they don’t make great movies. But this movie is like an insanity test – watching Santa Claws may end with you being institutionalized.
How do I loathe thee, Santa Claws – let me count the ways! Specifically, this movie has four deadly flaws:
THE WRITING/THE EDITING
In a movie called Santa Claws featuring cats that save Christmas, the cats better use their claws in a meaningful way. I know Santa Paws was taken, but jeez, maybe write the title into the movie! That’s nothing to say that the script just doesn’t seem to be feature-length. Maybe that has something to do with committing a portion of your budget to animal wrangling and terrible digital effects, but that doesn’t change the fact that this script is what authors refer to as “not good writing” and “not enough pages to fill out a movie.”
And then there’s the story…
Look, the story’s not good. The characters are not interesting, they often do not make sense and they’re certainly not likable.
This is NOT a good combination.
But more to the point, the storytelling is not effective. This is a real problem because confronting the audience with trying to understand how a man can hear another man snoring through a concrete wall and a house and deduce that said snoring is emanating from a specific individual… this is not a good idea.
Santa Claws is stretched to a painful one hour and twenty-six minutes from maybe an hour of content (again, the script is too short). Since this is a TV movie, they want to stretch it into that two-hour block (with commercials) format, but there’s just not enough movie here. This is the biggest drain on the movie – if it flowed well, the viewer wouldn’t notice the mistakes and the impact of every single one wouldn’t land like a piano falling out a window, but here we are.
Scenes run long, sequences run long, shots run long… it’s the longest 86 minute movie you’ll ever see. The long gaps in the dialogue are especially telling in a “let’s see if we can make every scene 30 seconds longer and that’ll add up over the course of the movie” sort of way.
Santa Claws has some of the worst digital effects you’ll ever see. They’ll have you longing for the production values of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
Maybe they could have gotten better performances out of their actors (done another take) if they didn’t have to spend so much on post production to make the cats talk and make the sleigh fly, which is all meaningless because it looks terrible anyway. Some of the cat dialogue sounds like someone reading an answering service script. It’s never a good idea to work with children or animals and certainly shouldn’t be attempted on a shoestring budget and this movie is a clear example what that’s the case.
Was there anything up to snuff? Well, I did like Tinsel and the HOLIDAY system. This is literally the only scene in the movie I enjoyed. And I liked the cats, they were cute, but they were used so ineffectively that the charm wears off quickly.
This may be the most poorly paced, filler laden piece of excrement you’re ever likely to come across. And we watched it on NETFLIX, so it’s not like we had to sit around and wait. Santa Claws is only for hardcore TV Christmas movie completists and extreme masochists only.
Meaning I don’t recommend it.