Halloween and Christmas flicks I Am Zozo and Sick for Toys are two very different movies, both with wickedly devilish names, but does either film do its holiday–and my holiday horror page–justice?
I AM ZOZO (2012)
Aside from the fact that the kids heading to a cabin in the woods wear the lamest Halloween costumes, I was feeling the initial setup of this film…because it’s the kind of shit my friends and I would and have done.
This small group of friends is likable (just like mine) and gets right into the holiday spirit…especially the goth girl, who immediately carves a pumpkin then pulls out a Ouija board (just like me).
The slow buildup as they use the board by the fireplace at night feels very natural, and there are two creepy moments—the guys go to check a bang on the door, and one girl sees a ghostly shape under a sheet by the fireplace.
Unfortunately there is simply never any payoff. My Ouija parties are scarier than this film, plus there’s cherry cola.
I Am Zozo is mostly talking until the end, when it appears the evil Ouija spirit Zozo locks a door to allow something tragic to happen.
Aside from showing some love for the holiday, this one isn’t going to make your Halloween movie marathon a frightfest. Even the presentation as this being based on a true story does it no favors.
SICK FOR TOYS (2018)
Not a scary movie(that makes two), this one is loaded with Christmas spirit and does deliver a twisted tale that borders deliciously on perverse at times.
A dude accepts a Christmas dinner date with the last girl his buddy was going to see before he disappeared. But things seem off from the first moment. The girl lives with her overly attentive brother, who becomes the third wheel on their date.
The brother also prepares dinner…
The longer the dude spends with them, the clearer it becomes they are quite dysfunctional. His troubles begin when they realize he’s on to their fucked up game…the brother helps his sister score “toys” to play with at Christmas. I can totally relate to her joy over receiving big packages…
This is a dark little film with unexpected plot twists, a few kills (not really gory), and a whole reverse #metoo plot point that will totally satisfy defenders (aka: conservatives) of accused men (aka: conservatives).
And not to my surprise, the Yuletide even gets a little gay to further complicate the messed up family relationship. Speaking of gay stuff that can land a movie on my die, gay guy, die! page, I did think the brother was the high point of the film—he really delivers that old school sexually stunted psycho vibe.