Santa Jaws (2018)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Santa Jaws</strong> (2018)

(On Cable TV, January 2019) How can you resist not seeing a movie called Santa Jaws, even though the title also practically guarantees a bad movie? I couldn’t, even knowing what to expect from a Syfy movie. And, whaddaya know, it’s exactly what it says on the tin: A tongue-in-cheek shark movie set around Christmastime, with our comics-obsessed teenager seeing his cherished comics creation coming to life and eating most of his family. Obviously low-budget and featuring lesser talents (I rarely comment on acting skills but—whew—this film doesn’t have much of it), Santa Jaws is meant to be the kind of film you watch without expectations, happy if it even delivers a story or please that it delivered on ironic expectations. On this low metric, Santa Jaws is a half-success: While the script shows no evidence of having been anything but a first draft, it does move its plot pieces along, and fulfill the basic elements of a formula. Still, let’s not get crazy about the results: Santa Jaws is what you want and Santa Jaws is what you will get, with no frills on top. The crazy premise (because why not) is the story driver here, but the Christmastime setting really isn’t used to its fullest potential—the drab washed-out cinematography is about as far from lush Christmas colours as you’d imagine, and surprisingly little of the film actually exploits Christmas iconography even for laughs. But, as I’ve said, this is Santa Jaws and it’s from Syfy—even a failing grade runs above expectations.

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