Ugly Sweater Party, Over Dressed Comedy With Noteworthy Gore
Ugly Sweater Party Becomes Life Of Its Own….Party
• Release Date: November 23rd, 2018
• Release Format: VOD
• MPAA Rating: N/A
• Social Networking:
Horror is an open platform to convey various ideas and commentary on social and political standings. The genre is not all seriousness. Comedy is a long-time associate of Horror cinema with punch lines and comedic scenarios evolving to meet modern audiences. Yet, there is the occasional film that garners reactions that parallel those popular internet face palms memes. This leads you, the reader to our next film review. This article centers on a one hour, twenty-one-minute presentation titled Ugly Sweater Party.
The title to filmmaker Aaron Mento’s latest film conveys plenty. This critic was not surprised by the product and expected an homage to classic B-Movie quality at its finest. The approach to Ugly Sweater Party may not cater to the masses. Yet, there are audiences with an appreciation for this class of cinema, and Aaron Mento pulls all the stops to make his film a cult classic among them.
The special and practical effects merge in a special yet uncanny marriage within Aaron Mento’s film. Ugly Sweater Party owns a retro-inspired flair complete with over the top comedic violence and outright campiness. This is an interesting approach and another testament of filmmakers adapting influences of yesteryear to modern constructs of Horror.
Separating the two mediums, it is easy to place the practical effects in the lead in terms of quality and violent artistry. The special effects, although intentional in its use felt exaggerated, too psychedelic and hard on the eyes. Any person under the influence of weed while watching Ugly Sweater Party will embark on a memorable trip. On a serious note, Aaron Mento uses all the tools in his arsenal to create a notable throwback to Comedy-Horror films.
For the sake of a compelling storyline, filmmakers can use anything for a root of evil. Why do screenwriters continue with tired tropes of relying on amulets, ouija boards or dolls? This approach is beyond this critic’s understanding. For a while, it seemed the Asian Horror marketplace was the only creatives thinking outside the box with innovative external antagonists.
As surprising as it seems Ugly Sweater Party is one of those rare instances of originality. As ludicrous as it was to watch demonic hair extensions in Sion Sono’s 2007 Comedy-Horror Aaron Mento casts his own cleverness with a demonic holiday sweater.
The area that lacks adequate substance will have to be the plot. The story development feels refined yet the tonality of the comedy dilutes the serious threat. Ugly Sweater Party becomes a parody of itself and in doing so falls short on conveying a proper Horror tonality. While this stance may have worked for cult classics, this is a different era requiring different approaches in storytelling.
Sex and the overuse of innuendo/puns outstay its welcome. There are a certain beats screenwriters adhere to when presenting a narrative. A Horror film is not in its entirety a feast of gore and scares. Filmmakers pepper comedic elements throughout the film to diffuse intensity. Failure to do so will only numb the viewer with the onslaught of violence. Drama applies to Comedy for the same effect, anyone eyed their share of Rom-Coms will agree. Yet, Aaron Mento with Ugly Sweater Party takes a page out of Bob Clark’s 1982 teen comedy playbook and does not release his grip (pun unintended).
The performances were not stellar and this is expected considering the approach conveyed. Ugly Sweater Party lacks a quality of on-screen chemistry and refined dialogue to make it compelling. It is almost as if Aaron Mento numbed down the characters to be unbelievable and simple. In terms of character structure, it is non-existent.
Audiences, depending on their preferred playing field would either support the characters or care little about them or their demise. Viewers looking for well-developed internal and external struggles will find Ugly Sweater Party difficult to digest.
Ugly Sweater Party becomes unique in its own right. Perhaps Aaron Mento’s film may not appeal to general Horror enthusiasts, perhaps it may. Nevertheless, a plot revolving on a demonic holiday sweater plays well with the approaching winter holidays. The concept is innovative enough to deserve recognition. Comedy and Horror is an interesting mix and when applied correctly becomes a seamless form of entertainment. This becomes the fault in Aaron Mento’s film.
Ugly Sweater Party gains applause for stunning practical effects yet the lackluster jokes and impotent gags subtract the gore value. If Aaron Mento were a chef, this serving would equal pouring canned ravioli over a Japanese Wagyu Rib Eye.