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6 Films to Keep You Awake: X-Mas Tale (Cuento de Navidad)

by

Jeff Nelson

X-Mas Tale (Cuento de Navidad) isn't for everyone, but it's an entertaining flick that's worth checking out.

6 Films to Keep You Awake: X-Mas Tale (Cuento de Navidad)
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Most films made have an influence on other films that found success. Sometimes these influences are much more obvious in some movies than they are in others. X-Mas Tale (Cuento de Navidad) has obviously been inspired by films such as The Goonies. However, it has a bit of a horror twist on that story.

A group of children playing in the woods find a woman bank robber dressed as Santa Claus who fell to the bottom of a well. They make a deal - her freedom for the money. The kids decide to keep her captive, except when one day she's gone and has a desire for revenge. If you're expecting this to be similar to the other 6 Films to Keep You Awake, then you'll be surprised to hear that this is very different from the others. I definitely wouldn't consider this strictly a horror film, but it just contains elements from the horror genre. The first half of the film is focused on the kids and a couple of them are rather interesting, although a few others are unbelievably irritating. The second half of the film is centered around the revenge of the woman in the well and the children attempting to run away. It's a rather short film so it's paced very quickly so it will keep the audience's attention from start to finish.

When looking at films centered around children, the performances usually aren't very good. This holds true for all of the children in X-Mas Tale (Cuento de Navidad), except for one. Ivana Baquero performs as Moni and does wonderfully. It never feels forced and her character comes across as sincere and genuine. The rest of the actors for the children don't provide much to their characters as Baquero did with Moni. Maru Valdivielso is the bank robber who fell in the well and is extremely creepy. She especially manages to pull it off in the second half of the movie where she has more screen time. Valdivielso and Baquero make up for mediocre performances put on by the rest of the cast.

The first half of the film is either taking place in the woods where the well is or at one of the children's houses. Once the bank robber escapes the well, that's when the visuals shine. Paco Plaza, director of [REC], is behind the camera and doesn't disappoint. With the woman stalking the children, the camera work is fantastic. Lighting is great and the atmosphere of the set is brilliant. Plaza is a marvelous director and without his style, this film wouldn't feel the same.

This isn't much like the other films in the set of 6 Films to Keep You Awake, but is unique in its own way. It's fast paced and fun. For those who are fans of The Goonies, but enjoy horror-esque films, this is right up your alley. X-Mas Tale (Cuento de Navidad) isn't for everyone, but it's an entertaining flick that's worth checking out.

My Rating = Three Stars

Next movie: 6 Films to Keep You Awake: A Real Friend (Adivina Quién Soy)
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