What involves thoughts when imagining a healthful Christmas film you can snuggle up and revel in for a comfy evening in? An odd but candy little reindeer who learns to imagine in himself? In fact. A jolly snowman who involves life with a magical hat? Positive factor! An enormous, dashing practice full of youngsters that flies off the tracks and hurls onto a frozen lake, threatening to plunge the kids to their icy deaths? No?! That does not sound like a enjoyable little low-stakes Christmas film to you?!? Yeah, me neither — however in some way The Polar Categorical nonetheless exists.
If you do not know something about The Polar Categorical — then I would first prefer to say how jealous I’m that you just made it via your childhood unscathed by such a spine-tingling story of terror. Principally, The Polar Categorical is a magical practice that seems on Christmas Eve to carry all the nice little girls and boys who imagine in Santa Claus to the North Pole. When you willfully ignore the kidnapping, then it sounds prefer it may be cute.
Let’s discuss in regards to the completely rancid vibes of this film that traumatizes kids each vacation season because it cursed our screens again in 2004. This isn’t the healthful household Christmas film it claims to be. The Polar Categorical is a heart-racing, shudder-inducing, edge-of-your-seat horror film, and this is why:
We begin the film with a decidedly eerie undertone straight away. The power is much from a comfy Christmas vibe and lands someplace in Krampus territory. Attempt to inform me that this is not the precise kind of opening scene in an actual horror film. You may’t!!
When the practice arrives (soar scare), our important character gazes upon it because the soundtrack accompanying this second performs looong, high-pitched squeals. I keep in mind watching this as an impressionable baby and considering, “Why are they taking part in haunted home music?! I am 10 and I am scared.” The tone feels prefer it’s making an attempt to construct suspense as an alternative of vacation marvel.
After our important character finds one other child’s lacking ticket, he tries to search out its rightful proprietor and return it. To do that, he has to maneuver between practice vehicles. He quickly finds himself exterior, hanging off the sting, uncovered to the weather, and actually on the verge of loss of life for one in every of many instances on this film for youngsters. Very cool!
He finally ends up shedding the ticket when it flies away into the wind. It lands softly onto the snow for a really transient peaceable second till but ANOTHER soar scare takes place with the practice WOOOOSHING in and laying down its horn. We’re 20 minutes into this film and there have been sufficient soar scares, thanks!
Together with her ticket lacking, the woman will get taken away by the conductor. One other baby on the practice says that the conductor goes to “throw her off the again of the practice.” Excuse me?!? They have been rolling miles and miles via the wilderness at this level!! RIP, woman.
Fortunately, our important character sees that the lacking ticket has flown again onto the practice. He grabs it and chases down the conductor to try to ask him to not throw the woman off of the practice? I do not know the way he managed to make me extra stressed than I used to be watching him wobble between practice vehicles, however he did when he ended up on TOP of the practice.
When he is on high of the practice, the chilly winds are blasting…however whom he discovers there offers me much more chills than the climate. As a substitute of discovering the woman and returning her ticket, he occurred upon this CGI nightmare of a person who speaks in riddles and evil laughs maniacally.
This creepy man is so unusual that the child turns into satisfied that that is all a dream. It results in this extraordinarily intense second the place he tries to get up by pinching himself and throwing snow on his face, which went on for waaaay too lengthy.
Dangerous information! He isn’t dreaming. Excellent news! He finds the woman whose ticket went lacking and he or she was not thrown off the practice — as an alternative, she was informed to function the practice whereas the conductor inspected it. Umm, okay! Feels secure!
As soon as the woman is relieved of her treacherous practice operation duties, she (and everybody else) finds herself in additional rapid hazard as a result of the practice *ahem* instantly speeds down a lake that has frozen over the practice tracks. Like, can we’ve a single second of peace on this kids’s film?! I’m begging.
The practice is screeeching on ice like nails on a chalkboard and the kids are dangerously near falling off of the sting. That is SO STRESSFUL. A Charlie Brown Christmas would by no means do that to me.
The woman is saved from flying off of the practice, however even the best way she’s rescued is frightening. Keep in mind that random man who lived on the high of the practice?! He comes again and saves the day in essentially the most sinister means attainable. By pulling her again and “shushing” the boy who sees (which is so creepy) however not as creepy as when he simply, like, disappears?! This dude straight-up evaporates into nothingness.
The practice lastly lands again on the tracks and everybody appears secure…for a second. There isn’t any time to unpack the near-death expertise earlier than enduring one other unnecessarily harrowing scene that features a basic horror film staple: dolls. I used to be so relieved that everybody was again contained in the practice (lastly) however that aid was short-lived as a result of they needed to stroll via a automobile stuffed with “rejected toys,” aka huge ol’ room of dolls!
Okay. So. They’re not preventing for his or her lives on the skin of the practice. They’ve gone via the spooky doll room (I promise there was no want for that scene besides to present 10-year-old me nightmares). Guess what occurs subsequent?! They make it to the North Pole! Which means all the things goes to relax now, proper? … Proper?!
In fact not!! The entire different youngsters get off the practice and put together to satisfy Santa, however the two important characters notice a child has been left behind so that they get BACK ON THE DEATH TRAIN. Naturally, there is a malfunction aaand the caboose detaches from the remainder of the locomotive so the youngsters go dashing to expertise one other near-death expertise. The practice lastly involves a cease at what seems to be an icy abyss that the youngsters then should stroll throughout, tightrope type. Who wrote this, and why do they hate kids?!?
At this level within the film, the principle characters are separated from the remainder of the group after their practice automobile sped off into the bowels of city. One thing essential to say is how all through this complete half, there’s jazzy Christmas music taking part in on a document participant that often glitches…it simply feels…haunted. They’re simply wandering across the North Pole — which is giving off extra of a Silent Hill vibe than a holly jolly Christmas land of pleasure.
A lot has occurred in ONE HOUR of this film. At this level, I wasn’t even phased when the youngsters randomly bought caught in a large sack of presents and located themselves hovering lots of of ft above city. These youngsters are means too resilient. They’re going to be wonderful.
The youngsters escape safely, however then extra chaos ensues when the large star topper for the North Pole Christmas tree FLIES off of it and nearly results in an elf bloodbath. The youngsters are lastly secure, and now the elves are catching the Christmas arms?!? Not cool!!
When Santa arrives, the horror power takes a flip for the culty when the entire elves get away into a really gradual and unsettling model of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to City.” It is genuinely chilling. It has the texture of when joyful songs are remixed spookily particularly for use in horror films.
Okay, the final quarter-hour of the film are literally fairly chill. It is actually the one time in the whole movie that it looks like a Christmas film and never only a Starvation Video games Christmas particular the place kids are preventing for his or her lives. In some way, the youngsters bought again dwelling on the fear practice with out plunging into an icy loss of life — though these tracks couldn’t have been unfrozen by the point they had been heading again…
Thanks for coming to my crucial rant a couple of film that got here out 20 years in the past. I nonetheless really feel simply as strongly at 29 as I did at 10 after I first watched it. Actually, it will get even scarier each time. Anyway, I hope I satisfied you to look at one thing really healthful this vacation season! You do not want this stress in your life! Buuut should you’re a horror film and practice fanatic, then that is the proper film for you!!