The Christmas Chronicles

After accidentally crashing Santa’s sleigh, a brother and sister pull an all-nighter to save Christmas with a savvy, straight-talking St. Nick.

Year: 2018
Certificate: PG
Director: Clay Kaytis
Starring: Kurt RussellDarby CampJudah LewisKimberly Williams-PaisleyOliver HudsonLamorne MorrisMartin Roach

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Full disclosure in the interest of fairness: I am not a huge fan of Christmas films in general. I find the forced themes of togetherness and family somewhat nauseating and feel they work better when Christmas is used as a backdrop rather than central theme; but this film I genuinely didn’t mind.

The plot of “Christmas Chronicles” is straight forward enough. The film follows siblings Kate and Teddy after their widowed mother is forced to go into work troubled Teddy has to watch out for his sister kate and after witnessing what she believed was Santa’s arm popping out the fireplace (here played by Kurt Russell) they set up a camera to prove it.

After awaking to see Santa sitting in the living room then promptly disappearing the siblings set out to catch up with Santa which will see them need to help save Christmas for everyone.

It’s all very standard stuff but what makes this festive film really stand out is how charming it is. It has a very low budget feel to it which in this case works to it’s advantage. It gives the film an almost artificial shine to it… a glaze of shine that’s reflected in both script and cinematography. This wouldn’t work with any other themed movie but does so here, I believe, because it’s almost parallel to how plastic Christmas has become – although I doubt this was the primary reason of filming in such a way – nevertheless it works and works well.
A happy coincidence perhaps.

The acting isn’t great and Kurt Russel’s Santa is perhaps the only stand out performance but the young actors playing the siblings do an ok enough job.

I will say the film does have some pacing issues. It feels like some parts are squashed together while others fall flat. Thankfully it’s never to a point of derailment and certainly not a deal breaker but there are parts you wish were over sooner while other more interesting scenes flash by to quickly.

Overall “Christmas Chronicles” achieves what it sets out to do. It tells a run-of-the-mill Christmas story which is worth a watch with the family over the festive season but doesn’t stand up to some of the all time holiday big hitters.

Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

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