The Santa Files
For the first 20 minutes of Stalking Santa I don't think my jaw left the floor, unfortunately after that I kept looking at the clock wondering how much more there was to go. You see "Stalking Santa" is a wicked idea, a mockumentary about a man trying to prove Santa is real. It has the look and feel of one of those late night documentaries about people abducted by aliens and with William Shatner providing the presenter type narration it is great. But after 20 minutes the novelty of this very different Christmas movie wears thin and whilst coming up with some great scenes "Stalking Santa" doesn't have the legs for a whole movie.
Dr. Lloyd Darrow (Chris Clark) is a "Santologist" who along with his supportive wife Barbara (Lisa Clark) and loyal intern Clarence (Daryn Tufts) are determined to prove Santa is real. As a documentary maker follows him around Lloyd explains various theories from crop circles being alternative landing sites for houses with no chimneys to archive footage and recordings of Santa sightings. But whilst Darrow is obsessed with stalking Santa he is oblivious to others true feelings none more so than his son who just wishes his father was normal.
So as I said "Stalking Santa" is a very different sort of Christmas movie and I applaud writer Daryn Tufts for coming up with such an amusing idea and filling it with some seriously funny scenes. I also applaud director Greg Kiefer and all the actors especially Chris Clark because every second of "Stalking Santa" has the feel of one of those late night alien documentaries but done with tongue firmly in cheek. And with William Shatner adding his voice as the serious interviewer it has a real authenticity about it but still mocking in tone.
And as I also said for the first 20 minutes of "Stalking Santa" my jaw was on the floor because the whole idea is hilarious from Darrow's earnest belief in proving Santa exists through to the various artefacts it is hilarious. It gets it so right from the old footage found of a bearded man at the North Pole to an ancient wax recording it is hilarious. The trouble is that whilst there are lots of funny moments, including a hilarious musical scene the longer "Stalking Santa" goes on the more drawn out it becomes and to be brutally honest it would have probably worked better as a 60 minute show rather than one which is aiming for standard movie length.
Now that leaves me in a bit of a quandary because I genuinely enjoyed "Stalking Santa" and have watched it a few times now because some of it is hilarious. But because it struggles to keep the wonderful momentum it starts with going I know this isn't for everyone and whilst receiving a PG certificate I wouldn't say it is for young children but those who have watched one or two of those alien abduction documentary shows.
What this all boils down to is that if you want a very different sort of Christmas movie then watch "Stalking Santa" because it is certainly original. But whilst it is hilarious and frankly at times inspired it does struggle to fill its 82 minute running time.