Eve of The Nutcracker Has Tension, Requires Time For Development

Eve of The Nutcracker Film Details DecayMag Kyle Martellacci Eve of the Nutcracker

Director:  Kyle Martellacci

Writer:  Kyle Martellacci

Release Date:  20 December 2016 (Canada) *IMDb.com

Release Format: YouTube

MPAA Rating: N/A

Genre: Short, Horror

Running Time: 6 minutes

Social Networking: Facebook


A disappointing Christmas Eve takes a turn for the worse when a young woman receives an ominous nutcracker as a gift.



Eve of the Nutcracker published on YouTube on the 20th of December 2016. It is an astonishing this Horror short from Red Razor Pictures has not amassed the viewership it deserves. Filmmaker Kyle Martellacci produces a fascinating dark perception of the winter holiday season. The film caters to online markets pressed with rigid schedules or limited attention spans. That’s due to the short running time, Eve of the Nutcracker clocks in as is a six-minute long Horror tease.

Martellacci’s film keeps the fundamental materials to stand as a Holiday Horror treat.

DecayMag Kyle Martellacci Eve of the Nutcracker


From the outset, the camera handling and visual aesthetic give Eve of the Nutcracker a professional charm. According to IMDb Martellacci took on many responsibilities in this production. He worked as the editor, cinematographer, and produced the film. This an extension to his directorial functions. It is not uncommon to see deterioration in production quality when a filmmaker seizes many duties. Yet, Martellacci communicated his design from script to screen.

Creative camera angles and seamless editing worked in conjunction to transfer the appropriate volume of suspense.

Stephanie Moran conveys a dramatic portrait of her role as Olivia. Moran’s consumes most of the opening minutes without dialogue, confined only to actions to transmit her sentiments. Once Moran shattered the silence audiences enjoyed another layer of her finesse as an actress.

DecayMag Kyle Martellacci Eve of the Nutcracker
Stephanie Moran in Eve of the Nutcracker (2016)

While the visuals worked well to reveal the narrative it was the sound that needed the same depth. Beginning at the three minute, forty-three-second mark the background music, conversation and effects did not integrate well. The song O Come All Ye Faithful by the Children’s Christmas Choir was two decibels over the limit. This prompts me to conclude that the protagonist had a party all to herself. The song decreases in volume allowing audio spacing for the dialogue but it seemed unnatural. Random music chimes, an act of jump scare felt more vexing than frightful.


Eve of the Nutcracker possesses an unusual storyline with a sinister though unanticipated twist. I would have appreciated a further depth of the complexities and characters. What is the case with the text messaging? Why is the protagonist the target? Why adopt a supernatural element? Martellacci entertains with his imagination in Horror but leaves viewers pursuing answers. Eve of the Nutcracker with a continued ten minutes would build up an otherwise compelling Horror theme.

Martellacci did everything correctly with the camera angles until the above-noted scene. The activities unfolding behind the protagonist were of relevance. Yet, the guest at the door, from his point of view, would have detected what was going on. Instead, Martellacci opted to adopt a somewhat higher camera angle causing the visitor to be shorter in stature. Doing so makes this character meek on purpose.

The practical effects were absent except for a close-up shot of a bloodstained weapon. Not showcasing the antagonist with various close-ups serves as the downfall of the make-up department. Audiences will hardly get a look at The Intruder and the shot comes in too quick to enjoy.

Martellacci’s film does not reformulate the already crowded market of holiday Horror films. Instead, Eve of the Nutcracker acts as a formidable contestant with its narrative.

The practical effects were absent except for a close-up shot of a bloodstained weapon. Not showcasing the antagonist with various close-ups serves as the downfall for the make-up department. Audiences will hardly get a look at The Intruder and the shot comes in too quick to enjoy.

In conclusion:

Eve of the Nutcracker has a high production value with small faults. An extended running time would cater to storyline issues and a concentration on the antagonist’s backstory. Actress Stephanie Moran conveys emotional content both with and without communication. Moran’s performance would have profited with extra lines to further transfer commitment with the audience.

The overall viewing experience was above satisfactory. Eve of the Nutcracker should receive higher recognition than the meager attention it carries. Martellacci’s film will please Horror connoisseurs seeking a brief fix as they wait for the holiday ham to exit the oven.

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