Christmas Evil rubs off a bit chalky, but not on the story level. I was hoping it would go for the throat at first too. It does start too light and takes a long time to find its horror niche- surreality. The last 45 or so minutes are great. The first half is too quiet without being disturbing enough. I mean, this isn't Carrie- this may be building up to something but it's not a giant climax of blood-soaked mayhem. For the sake of style, it definitely could have been either creepier or more macabre. (Even if just to show up the wave of mainly yawn-worthy slashers to come.)
But, still, it's better than Silent Night, Deadly Night having about 5 good minutes then wading through lukewarm crap for the rest of it. If Christmas Evil is a bit lightweight, SNDN is a chunk of fly-covered, festering Spam. I've seen more meaty, substantial stories of mental anguish from Sesame Street! Billy's a lame, boring hollow shell and the rest of the characters are transparent cliches. And there isn't any great atmosphere or classic music score or anything visually interesting to carry us through it.
You're grasping at straws, fans. Linnea Quigley has done vastly superior work and you know it. If you want a killer Santa, there are 2 products from the Tales from the Crypt franchise a damn sight better than this. And everyone knows Gremlins is the one, the only anti-holiday cheer film, and Black Christmas is the king Christmas slasher. After that, Christmas Evil and Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 fill the remaining cracks in the novelty subgenre perfectly.
Eric Freeman > anything in the first film. Good day, gentlemen.