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3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Saint [DVD]
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on 6 September 2014
even though it is dutch with English subtitles ,the titles are not that long and I found that this film was very good where in the 14th century the dutch story of st .nicholaus is of an evil spirit that comes back every 5th December to kill anyone,i really recommend this
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on 23 December 2014
In the Netherlands, children put their shoes (containing hay and carrots) by the chimney and sing Sinterklass songs, and those who have been good receive gifts from Saint Nicholas and his helpers (called Black Petes). According to the myth, bad children, however, are put in sacks and carried by Saint Nicholas to Spain, where he supposedly comes from. This is not to be confused with Christmas, for the celebration of St. Nicholas Day takes place on the 5th and 6th of December. In this movie, though, we are told that there is much more to the story, that Saint Nicholas was not a 4th century bishop known for gift-giving and healing. In actuality, he was a 15th-century apostate bishop who, along with his army of Black Petes, pillaged, murdered, kidnapped, and pretty much terrorized the countryside until a group of villagers fought back and burned Nicholas and his ship. The truth was covered up by the Catholic Church, so now no one believes the urban legend that Saint Nicholas returns every December 5 night with a full moon to exact revenge on the people of Amsterdam.

One man, though, knows the legend to be true. Goert Hoekstra (Bert Luppes) witnessed the murder of his parents and siblings back in 1968 and decided to become a policeman in order to protect the citizens of Amsterdam the next time a full moon fell on Saint Nicholas Day. Of course, all of his police colleagues think he’s daft, forcing him to try and stop Saint Nicholas on his own. A teenaged boy named Frank also becomes involved, after he witnesses the handiwork of Saint Nick and his Black Petes firsthand, only to be wrongly accused of murdering two of his friends.

The film’s special effects are quite good. It’s hard to forget the sight of Saint Nick riding his white steed across the rooftops as police pursue him, and the sight of Saint Nick’s burned face is guaranteed not to inspire any visions of sugar plums in anybody’s dreams. A number of the killings are pretty gory and often involve the shearing off of body parts. The pacing of the film is also quite good; indeed, the film seems to zoom along much faster than its 90-minute duration. Simply put, this is one of the best Christmas-related horror movies I’ve seen in recent years – despite its less than stellar English dubbing. Just be aware that’s it is known by a variety of names, including Saint Nick, Saint, and Sint. American viewers may not understand the significance of the date or the peculiar Dutch customs around Saint Nicholas, but the glorious horror unleashed by this dude are truly universal.
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on 9 January 2013
5th December 1492, a former bishop named Niklas leads his gang into a village where they slaughter half of the population. The remaining villagers decide they've had enough of Niklas and his gang, so they row out to their ship and set it on fire, killing everyone on board. 5th December 1968, four children are singing by the fireplace when their father hears a noise outside. He sends his oldest son called Goert out to go check on the pigs, when he returns from the barn, he spots a figure walking across their roof and a man on a horse carrying a staff. He enters his house and discovers a bloodbath, and his younger siblings have gone. Amsterdam, present day. The tales told of Niklas and his gang have now come to be believed as nothing but a fairytale that people tell to their children, he's now known at Sinterklaas. Goert is now a police officer and is convinced that the full moon on December 5th will signal the return of Niklas and his gang, his belief in this happening lands him in trouble with his superior and he's put on leave for the rest of December. Just as Goert predicted, Niklas returns and they begin to slaughter the citizens of Amsterdam. A student called Frank survives an attack and eventually bumps into Goert, and the two of them try and put an end to the curse once and for all.

Unlike most American horror films that have really unlikeable "teenagers" playing major roles, the young characters in Saint are reasonably likeable. Even though they're young and attractive, there's no blinding white teeth, washboard abs and silicone breasts, you can actually relate to these kids. Frank is played quite well by Egbert Jan Weeber, if the film has a main star then he's probably it. He was in his late twenties when he made Saint, I didn't find it at all distracting as I love '80s slasher films where people in their twenties regularly played teenagers. Bert Luppes is good as Goert, there's a hilarious scene near the beginning of the film where he enters the police station, spots a wrapped up box on his table and proceeds to shoot it five times. I know he's worried about Niklas coming back to continue the murder spree, but it's safe to assume he's not in the box. Caro Lenssen plays Frank's love interest, she's very pretty and puts in a good performance, she was also in her mid twenties. Huub Stapel is okay as Niklas, he just doesn't really get that much to do and I felt he was slightly wasted in the role. It was nice to see him though, as he's appeared in most of Dick Maas' Dutch films, most notably in Amsterdamned and the Flodder films.

Saint was a welcome return to horror for Dick Maas, a genre he had success with in the '80s with De Lift and Amsterdamned. He finally came to America and made two movies, Do Not Disturb and a remake of his own film De Lift called Down. I thought they were both okay, but they weren't very successful and he eventually returned to Holland. I thought Saint was by far his best film since Amsterdamned in '88, and it seems that he's another director who seems to make far better films back home than in America. The makeup effects on Niklas and his gang are well done, like another reviewer pointed out, they're very similar to the pirates in John Carpenter's The Fog. There's quite a few good gore moments, but nothing that really stands out. There's a good rooftop chase sequence with Niklas leaping from roof to roof on his horse, despite the CGI being a little too obvious here and there. Dick Maas also provides the music for the film as he always does, it sets the tone quite nicely.

The picture quality is very good, it's quite sharp and detailed. It's a Dutch film so it has English subtitles. Sadly there are no extras on the disc at all, there's just the film itself and scene selection which was disappointing. I was having a little trouble deciding whether to give the film three stars or four, the complete lack of extras pretty much made my mind up. Saint is exactly what I expected it to be, a festive horror film with black comedy running through it. If you've seen any of Dick Maas' other horror/thrillers you'll find they all have comedy in them. Saint certainly isn't a great film, it isn't even Dick Maas' best film, but it is an extremely enjoyable, often funny, sometimes gory, '80s throwback that works a lot better than the similar US film, Santa's Slay. I really did enjoy Saint, and with a runtime of just over 80 minutes, it never gets boring. If there's a Dick Maas film you should watch, you should really go for the excellent Amsterdamned, but Saint is just about the next best.
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on 13 November 2012
Every 42 years on December 5th, when the moon is full, evil Saint Nicholas reeks havoc on the good people of Holland.

Saint is a short and snappy throwback to lighthearted fun 8Os teen horror. It's also fairly obviously a homage to John Carpenter. The ghostly ship and its rotting crew are drawn strait from The Fog. Whilst the significant date idea and the High School cast of twenty-somethings posing as teenagers echo Halloween. I liked the scenes of saint Nick storming across the Dutch rooftops on his white horse and those of his oversized "elves" clambering down chimneys to stuff children into sacks. There's some pretty good gore, one or two jump scares and, unlike is the case with a lot of recent US attempts at this kind of thing, the youngster are mostly likable. Huub Stapel (Amsterdamned) plays the right jolly old elf with genuine relish.

I thought Saint was fairly good and got the tone just about right. Neither falling into the trap of going for out and out comedy or taking itself too seriously. It's certainly a lot better than the similarly themed Santa's Slay.
I just wish the DVD had the option of a dubbed version, because subtitles seem a little to serious for what in the end is a film about a homicidal decomposing Santa
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on 3 July 2012
I went to watch this film at FrightFest 2011 in London and I did enjoy the idea of the movie. A ghostly figure coming back every 5th December on a full moon to go on a killing spree for one night! Can't be bad. However, there is one thing about the movie that did confuse the hell out of me. At the beggining of the film one of the main characters will tell you that the saint will come back every 32years, then halfway through another character will tell you that the saint comes back every 42years and right at the end when you think its all over and one says to another "its over" of course someone has to say "we'll find out in 23years".

Ok I'm not exactly a genius at maths but if you're going to try and get me confused this was the best way to do it coz I'm sure there is a bit of a difference between those numbers!

Having said that, I did enjoy the film and laughed pretty much when I think we should have been screaming.
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on 22 December 2013
To be honest, the 18 certificate is a bit harsh for this seasonal slasher. The violence is so OTT and comic book that it is impossible not to laugh out loud as the body count rises and the few tense moments are possible to spot a mile off.

But it is good fun if you want a break from the sugar and spice of the traditional Christmas movie and it a good addition to any collection.
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on 22 November 2012
I just want to put something straight. This is not Santa Claus.
Sint Nikolaas is a Dutch tradition where a man wearing a red saint hat and red robe lined with golden lace gives children gifts. He's aided in this by having lots of Pieten (white men painted as black men in colorful clothing and feathers in their caps) who climb down chimneys to leave gifts in children's shoes. He also has a white horse which he rides on rooftops. He caries a golden staff and has a big book which tells him if you've been good or bad. If you've been bad the Pieten take you away to Spain in a sack. (Legend has it he lives in Spain and only comes over to give away gifts on his own birthday). Then on the 5th of December it's pakjesavond (meaning gifts night) when everybody gets gifts from Sinterklaas (as he's more commonly known). It's very similar to Santa Clause, but not quite. Dutch children love December because they always get loads of gifts at the beginning and at the end of the month.

So much for the legend what about the film?

I love the film. Finally a worth wile Dutch slasher movie after Amsterdamned.
There are funny moments, scary moments and blood curling moments. But never over the top.
Story is that a murderous Sinterklaas comes around every time there is a full moon on December 5th. Which is every couple of decades (there's a little mistake in the film calling out two different time frames, but nothing very irritating).
Good views of Amsterdam at night and generally well done (CGI was of good quality too). I recommend this movie if you like the genre. It's in Dutch with English subtitles but that's never bothered me when it was the other way around.

I remember all the fuss when the movie came out. Parents thought the posters of the skull faced Sinterklaas hanging on billboards everywhere was way too scary for the children and tried to get them banned. I think it only made more people wanting to see the movie.
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on 27 December 2015
The year is 1492, December the 5th and it's a full moon.. St Niklas raids towns and murders his way through the adults, while kidnapping the village children with the help of his Black Peters (pirate slaves). Presumably from there he eats the children, or sells them into slavery, or something.. But either way the community have had enough, so they burn up his slave-ship along with Nik who's on board, which is the end of him. . . Merry Christmas one and all.

The Year is now 1968, December the 5th and it's another full moon (they don't come around very often).. Everyone is enjoying Christmas and nobody is afraid, the image of the evil St Niklas having now been altered and become a symbol of happy tradition. Turkey butties all round etc.. But wait, because now it's Nik's turn to get cross, really cross, in fact the kind of really super cross that you can only get if you've been an undead psycho, spinning in your grave at everyone's yuletide happiness for the last 476years!
Meanwhile young Goert is out checking on his noisy pigs, when he sees a form 'Hi Ho Silvering' off his rooftop, wherein Goert returns indoors to discover his family have been massacred, his siblings stolen.!!

The year is now, December the 4th and once again a full moon is predicted for the next evening.. Nobody believes in Saint Niklas any more, except that is for a lone, neurotic cop called Goert. Niklas maybe about to rear his evil zombie head again, but this time Goert intends to stop him from attacking Amsterdam, whether his superiors think he's crazy or not....

Dutch comedy horror, in which an zombie-psycho bishop comes back from the dead with his army of Black Peters, where he proceeds to slaughter adults, Ho Ho Silver his way across the rooftops and harvest the children of Amsterdam.

Quite self referential in it's humour, with director Dick Maas no stranger to the slasher genre having wrote and helmed The Lift ('83) (a film about a killer lift!), and of course the excellent scuba-slasher Amsterdamned in 1988.

Never takes itself too seriously, zero nudity (shame, there are some hot Dutch fitties in here!), plenty of silly gore. Sort of like Dead Snow ('09), The Fog ('80) and Amando de Ossorio's 'Blind Dead' series all rolled into one. Except not as good as any of those!
Ultimately it's disposable nonsense, not in the slightest bit scary or horrific, but admittedly entertaining while it lasts (just short of 80m).
If you see it cheap then it's worth a punt but unlikely to be viewed more than a couple of times.

Disc is subtitled, with the picture quality you would expect from a relatively new film.
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on 8 November 2011
I bought this film with an open mind not knowing what to expect, I thouroughly enjoyed it providing you switch your brain off. Firstly it is a dutch film with english subtitles ( But don't let that put you off) By the way In Holland they call him St Nicholas and not Santa Claus.The story goes St nicholas is killed many centuries ago on the 5th December.HE thenresurects his murderous ways whenever a full moon rises on December the 5th, we then go forward to modern day Amsterdam 5 December and old St Nic is gonna come for you , and you better watch out,there our plenty of jump out your seat moments and a fair bit of gore, but not over the top,It was always snowing which added to th festive spirt's. I don;t want to give much of the plot away suffice to say I think the director was showing a few nods to John carpenters THE FOG, think mist old ships & feceless demons & spoooky canals in Amsterdam. There are some quite good CGI shots of St Nic on his horse & Scath on his murderous rampage over the rooftops of Amsterdam. This film won't win any awards but if you are looking for a good ole scary xmas film somthing different than white xmas or scrooge go and buyit. Next time i watch this will be December the 5th with one eye on the roof oh and if you have a real fire place be carefull that aint santa coming down you have been warned!!!!
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on 11 November 2011
I saw this film in Dutch at Kinepolis in Leuven when it first came out in 2010 and absolutely LOVED it. Admittedly, I like scary movies - if you don't, it's probably not for you - and I was desperate to see this film as soon as I saw the trailer. It's set in Amsterdam and is based on the idea that "Sinterklaas" (Dutch Santa Claus, more St Nicholas than Father Christmas) was not actually a nice guy who loved children but a nasty one who stole them as well as terrorising innocent villagers. His victims eventually turned on him and burnt him and his henchmen to death; now, every time there is a full moon on 5th December, the Eve of St. Nicholas' Day, he comes back to kill as many people as possible. The action is set on 5th December, as a cop whose entire family were killed by the "Saint" (Huub Stapel) last time he appeared tries to stop him, aided by Frank (Egbert-Jan Weeber), a student who has been mistakenly arrested on suspicion of some of the murders. There are some superbly gruesome murders (including one by sharpened crozier!) plus an outrageous scene in which the "Saint" mounted on his white horse gallops along the rooftops of Amsterdam whilst the police follow in a car, trying to shoot him out of the window! It's bloody in places but there's a fabulous black humour running through the whole thing.
The film is in Dutch with English subtitles, which personally I like, as the cast have distinctive voices which it would be a shame to dub over, plus the story is set in Holland of course.
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