Santa Jaws (2018) Film Review

santaJawsPosterThis Santa is not handing out lumps of coal. He is coming to town and is eager to devour you and your entire family. He is Santa Jaws. Now that the Sharknado series is coming to an end, “Santa Jaws” is a missed opportunity by SyFy to create an annual Christmas event. Why is this movie premiering in August? While unusual for being a shark-themed Christmas movie, “Santa Jaws” also combines elements of fantasy that are typically absent from shark movies. Instead of focusing on these fantasy aspects and providing a jolly good time, “Santa Jaws” makes the worst mistake that a SyFy movie can make and spends too much time on dialogue.

The premise of this movie sounds familiar. A teenager wishes to be alone, away from his family on Christmas. Actually, this is where the similarities to “Home Alone” end. His wish backfires when he unknowingly brings his comic book, Santa Jaws, to life when he starts drawing with a magic pen that he receives. The comic features a shark wearing a Santa hat and Christmas lights wrapped around its body.

We are introduced to the comic book right away. The first two minutes of this movie are actually portrayals of panels from the comic and I wish the entire movie matched the craziness of this scene. Someone pulls a shotgun on a Santa threatening to push a lady into a docking bay with a shark. It is exciting, but does not set the tone for the rest of the movie which is more lighthearted.

The magic pen is underutilized. It is established that the pen can create money, women and cars. One attempt to to kill Santa Jaws is made by drawing a spear into his body, but the pen misinterprets the drawing and the shark ends up receiving a horn instead. It baffles me that the pen wasn’t used to draw insane weapons. Imagine if there was a ray gun that could turn Santa Jaws into a moose. Just toss realism out of the window when you have a pen that brings drawings to life.

Speaking of realism, while trying to find out where this movie was filmed I discovered that apparently the comic book store featured in this movie, Big Easy Comics, is actually a real store in Louisiana. I wonder if the store agreed for filming to take place there just so they can brag that they were featured in a movie regardless of how small the audience may be. It doesn’t seem like the easiest way of promoting a store.

Maybe this is the start of a new trend for shark movies on SyFy where they combine sharks with a holiday or season. Could we possibly see “Spring Sharkers”? “Santa Jaws” offers a couple of unique moments such as a shark getting stabbed in the eye with a candy cane and a montage featuring the song “Ave Maria”, but these scenes are too short compared to the amount of excruciating dialogue that it is difficult to recommend this movie.

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