The Satan Clause

Father Christmas has had it all his own way for far too long now; only one entity should be identified by a red suit and creepy laugh and Jolly Saint Nick it is not. Hell, the guy even gets carte blanch to nip in and out of houses all night long the world over once a year.

What starts out as a somewhat predictable ‘alternative’ story line develops quickly into an amusing and original one. Jealous at the ease with which his rival accesses so many juicy mortals, a wickedly watchable Pesci as Satan sets out to destroy Blessed’s voluble but convincing Father Christmas, thus ridding the world of the annual potential threat to bank balances, family harmony and happy connotations with the colour red before it really is too late too save his own image. Tortured by the irony described in the tagline, merry mayhem ensues as Satan, with his irresistibly cute and oddly sinister sidekick Ember (Tyler) deploys his plans.

Sit back and enjoy a car chase of a different kind as the Christmas Eve sky is riven by Santa’s sleigh pulling all kinds of twists and turns in order to evade a demon-driven chariot from hell. Some great CGI works wonders in having you believe every star bumped and skyscraper dodged is a real near-miss. The film keeps up the pace too; several failed assassination attempts later, the novel methods of which include poisoned mince pies (succeeding only in bumping off Rudolph and his distracting beacon of a nose; no loss to the rest of the film it must be said,) the slowly crushing walls of a chimney stack and a sabotaged sleigh seat belt, Old Nick has a change of heart and asks Saint Nick to consider a job swap instead. Far less enamoured of his role than he once was and much to Satan’s surprise, Santa willingly agrees.

What follows is a series of revelations of both the main protagonist’s true characters, some of which are surprisingly thought provoking and leave you still debating them long after you have left the cinema. Is Father Christmas really such a giving, caring soul? Is Satan really so unpleasant after all? Which of them would you prefer to appear in your bedroom when nothing was stirring, not even the burglar alarm?

A great, action packed, laugh a minute film which could only be described as ‘feel good’ for those of you who no longer believe in Father Christmas. Or maybe for those of you who always had more faith in the Devil. Enjoy.

By Susan P Oldham

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