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  • Rev Horror

Grandma's Cookies: A Christmas Tale

Dir. Michael Coulombe (2024)

A little boy discovers what's in his grandma's secret Christmas cookies.

Christmas horror is the best, and there's no shortage of horror films out there that focus on America's favorite holiday. Every year, I try to do at least 13 Christmas movies here on the site to celebrate the holiday season, so I was stoked to be able to check out Michael Coulombe's new Christmas horror short in July to help bridge that gap before I watch Gremlins for the hundredth time. Starring Eileen Dietz (Pazuzu's face in The Exorcist), the short is about a grandmother who is baking cookies with an extra special ingredient for Santa Claus and her grandson, Billy (Lucas Sequeira), who is anxious to stay up and see Santa for real.

At just ten minutes, Grandma's Cookies is efficient and creepy, owing in large part to Dietz's performance and Coulombe's competent direction. It's shot well, with some creative uses of the camera's focus and some gorgeous cinematography. The house, which looks just like a gingerbread house decorated for the holidays, is just an establishing shot at the beginning of the film, but it serves its purpose perfectly in putting us in that holiday mood for what is to come. Santa (Bryan Forrest), who makes a brief appearance at the end, strikes a perfect balance between the jolly fat man and a Krampus-esque character.

Thematically, Grandma's Cookies fits well into the Christmas horror zeitgeist, though it's not a story you haven't heard before. It is delightfully eerie, however, and more well-done than most indie horror shorts, which makes sense because of Coulombe's experience as a short film director and his feature film anthology Dark Lullabies, which is streaming on Tubi. I haven't checked out DL yet, but after watching this short, I definitely plan to. Coulombe is talented, and there's nothing better than watching a well-crafted and genuinely creepy short form horror film.

Who this movie is for: Short film lovers, Christmas horror fans, Bakers

Bottom line: Grandma's Cookies: A Christmas Tale is a creepy short with a couple of excellent performances. Director Michael Coulombe has an eye for detail and delivers a fantastic short that never overstays its welcome while delivering some scares along the way. It's a great idea, though it's not a particularly inventive one, and it will recall films like Krampus or The Visit with its plot and direction. I definitely recommend checking this one out if you get the chance, it's making the festival circuit right now.

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