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Three wannabe social media stars looking for content find themselves in a battle of good versus evil —Santa vs. Krampus — in “Slay Belles”.

Slay Belles

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A few years ago, my colleague covered Slay Belles during his Tubi Tuesday seasonal picks. Since it’s one of my go-to holiday horror treats, I wanted to take this time to revisit it for those of you who may have slept on this 2018 genre gem.

Slay Belles opens on a scene that takes place at 11:23 p.m. on Christmas Eve in Lake Forest, California. A  young man is tied to a chair and surrounded by three scantily-clad women in holiday outfits covered in blood. He demands to know who they are, why they’re covered in blood, and who tased him. He addresses a man dressed as Santa Claus, calling him Chris and telling him he knows he killed someone.

Then, we’re taken back 12 hours earlier, where we meet three young women — Sadie (Hannah Wagner), Dahlia (Susan Slaughter), and Alexi (Kristina Klebe) — a group of fun-loving pranksters and urban explorers.

Sadie and Dahlia have a website, “The Adventure Girls,” where they upload videos of their exploits. They announce a special Christmas video and drag their reluctant friend, Alexi, along on their next adventure.

After learning about gruesome suspected bear attacks in the area, the trio arrives at Santa Land. Located in the middle of the woods, this shuttered attraction has a dark history, and children were rumored to have died there. It’s been out of operation for the past twenty years.

The girls ignore the gate, the  “Never Mind the Dog, Beware of the Owner” sign,  and the surveillance cameras. They suit up, donning revealing Christmas outfits, hop the low fence, and break in.

Soon, they find themselves face-to-face with Krampus. They are forced to team up with a badass Biker Santa (Barry Bostwick) to put an end to Krampus’ murderous rampage. 

Directed by Spooky Dan Walker and written by Jessica Luhrssen and Walker, Slay Belles is a campy, tongue-in-cheek holiday treat.

Slay Belles

Most of the film is a comical pursuit of Krampus, culminating in an unpredictable plot twist and an exciting ending. 

The cast, which includes Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and Diane Salinger (Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday), as well as a cameo appearance by the late Richard Moll (House), is strong. Bostwick delivers a great performance as a rough-around-the-edges foul-mouthed biker Santa, and Diane Salinger shines as Christmas-hating Cherry.

There’s some gore, but for the most part, Krampus’s kills are off-camera.

The humor is irreverent and ventures into slapstick territory at times, but it remains entertaining. The overall effect is an over-the-top, weird, and fun holiday romp.

If you haven’t seen this movie and are looking for something delightfully different this holiday season, I suggest taking a stroll through Santa Land with Slay Belles, but watch out for Krampus.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 4


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