DEADLY GAMES (1989)
Yes, we’re past the holiday season, but this was such a unique one that I feel it had to be included even afterwards. DEADLY GAMES is a weird little ‘gem’ from the late 80s that tells the story of a psycho Santa after a little kid; the result is we get a horror version of ‘Home Alone.’ In fact, the creator of this film tried to sue the makers of Home Alone for plagiarism (which didn't amount to anything). Not that these movies are exactly alike; we start out with a young kid trying to contact Santa Claus from some public tech toy; only for some weirdo psychopath to intercept the signal and ends up getting the address of the boy. We know this guy is deranged for actually slapping a child during his short stint as a mall-type Santa…before heading to do even more dastardly deeds at the residence of the kid he made contact with earlier. The similarities to the family classic we all know deal with the kid who lives in a mansion using his tech expertise and knowledge of the house to play a cat-and-mouse game with the Santa when he finally shows up. We don’t get trap after trap in each room like we do if this was Kevin’s abode. But we do get a kid all dressed in camo gear and facepaint! While we do get a couple violent ‘traps,’ much of it is a hide-and-seek type play with the young boy’s partially blind grandfather having to hide in plain sight (a suit of armor centerpiece) while the boy and Santa do battle. Issue I had was I expected a bit more mayhem for its reputation. Unlike most films, the kid hero isn’t invincible and his battle scars are very obvious when they happen, so that's a plus. The pace however seems slow…as I think much of the first half could have been withered down so we get more facetime battle in the house. A unique film that for sure wouldn’t get made nowadays, check it out for a unique post-holiday time with some decent kills. Just not the gonzo all-out war I was anticipating.
SLASH SCENE: The tunnel through the ‘fridge’
SLASH SCORE: 3/5