Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Meet the Cast of 'Desperate Housewives - Africa' + the Characters from the American Original They Each Play (Premieres in 2 Weeks) Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Netflix's 'The Getdown' Directed by Baz Luhrman Has Found Its Female Lead Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Meet the 3 Leads for the Next 'Star Wars' Movie (John Boyega Is One of Them) + Watch New Teaser Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Quentin Tarantino's 'H8ful Eight' Gets a Teaser Trailer (Samuel L. Jackson, Belinda Owino) Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Here Are the Cities & Theaters in Which Patrik-Ian Polk's Award-Winning Drama 'Blackbird' Will Open Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) Trailer: Pilot Project 'First Gen' (The Trials and Tribulations of Being a First Gen Nigerian-American) TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships TV One Shores Up 2015-2016 Slate with 8 New Series, 16 Original Movies + New Production Partnerships 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 'Walking Dead' Creator Says Rick and Morgan's Reunion Will Be "The Spine" of Season 6 Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Abderrahmane Sissako's 'Timbuktu' Quietly Grosses Over $1 Million in USA Box Office - Rare for an African Film Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie Rumorville: Ernie Hudson Circling T'Chaka Role in Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie Watch Cuba Gooding Jr. Wield a Gun and Snort Coke in his Underwear in Clip from 'Big Time in Hollywood, FL' Watch Cuba Gooding Jr. Wield a Gun and Snort Coke in his Underwear in Clip from 'Big Time in Hollywood, FL' People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' People in Chicago Are Not Happy with Spike Lee’s 'Chiraq' Check Out the First Trailer for HBO's New Dramedy Series 'Ballers' Starring Dwayne Johnson Check Out the First Trailer for HBO's New Dramedy Series 'Ballers' Starring Dwayne Johnson 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO 'Tales of the Grim Sleeper,' on Serial Killer Who Murdered Black Women for 25 Years, Debuts April 27 on HBO Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Tribeca Film Fest Review - "Sint" (St Nick As A Murderous Bishop)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 27, 2011 at 11:53AM

Screening in the Cinemania section of the festival is Dutch horror director, Dick Maas’ Sint (or Saint) – a mostly entertaining, though derivative thriller/chiller that reimagines St. Nicholas as a murderous medieval bishop, who’s eventually burned to death by the revolting villagers he'd long tormented. The act essentially curses the village and its people, as the bloodthirsty bishop, promises to fulfill his grisly promise to return and seek revenge against them, by reawakening every 32 years, on December 5th, the anniversary of his death, to kill off their descendants.
0

Screening in the Cinemania section of the festival is Dutch horror director, Dick Maas’ Sint (or Saint) – a mostly entertaining, though derivative thriller/chiller that reimagines St. Nicholas as a murderous medieval bishop, who’s eventually burned to death by the revolting villagers he'd long tormented. The act essentially curses the village and its people, as the bloodthirsty bishop, promises to fulfill his grisly promise to return and seek revenge against them, by reawakening every 32 years, on December 5th, the anniversary of his death, to kill off their descendants.

That’s how the movie begins – a macabre, action-filled, humorous first 5 minutes.

Fast-forward centuries later, to the present day, as the story of the vengeful St Nick has become the stuff of myth and legend, more likely to inspire laughter when told, than dread.

But, as fully expected, that sense of calm and joy felt by all, over the holiday season, very quickly turns into panic and terror, when the scorned, and scalded Bishop returns on this night, riding his pale undead horse, and carrying a deadly staff, accompanied by his helpers (aka Black Peters) to continue to execute the horrific pledge he made centuries before.

Chests are gorged, heads cut off, limbs severed, as blood becomes the most spilled liquid of the night, as opposed to say, celebratory bottles of wine and champagne, as St Nick and his minions kill indiscriminately - old and young, male and female.

Initially, no one suspects that the myth is more than just a myth, and the murders are pinned on a young man who was associated with those who’d been murdered, and who witnessed the bloody carnage in person, forcing him to realize the reality of the legend, giving a leg-up on the non-believers; no one believes him, except an older discharged conspiracy-theorist police officer, and they pair teams up to rid their city of this curse once and for all, becoming hunters themselves, with the wrathful Saint and his henchmen in their cross-hairs.

Black Peter (or Zwarte Piet in Dutch folklore) aside (although I suggest him up and arm yourself with the info), as I already said, it’s an entertaining genre romp that should please the thriller/chiller fan crowd; sufficiently grisly, but wrapped in a humorous blanket that ensures the movie never really challenges you psychologically so as to become fodder for future nightmares.

It’s ultimately what we’d call stateside, a slasher movie, not-so unlike the hundreds that have been made by Hollywood over the years. So, in that sense, it’s nothing you haven’t already seen before; just in a different setting, and in another language, which, I suppose, gives it a uniqueness to those of us on this side of the pond, who don't consume much media from constituent country. Although I’d add that the idea to turn jolly old St Nick into this murderous bastard was an attractive, if somewhat original hook.

I’m no aficionado of the genre, so there very well could be countless other movies made before this one that featured a blood-seeking Sinterklass.

It’s relatively short, running at just over 80 minutes, with credits, taking place mostly over 1 single night of horror, played out across the snowy streets and rooftops of Amsterdam; so the action moves along rather swiftly, with very brief periods of rest scattered about.

My research tells me that this isn’t the first horror go-round by director Dick Maas, who’s said to have directed “classic” Dutch horror films like The Lift and Amsterdamned, neither I’m familiar with.

Also worth noting, Sint (Saint) was the highest grossing Dutch film of 2010.

I could see a company like IFC’s genre label, IFC Midnight, picking this one up for limited stateside distribution.

This article is related to: Film Festival


Shadow & ActNewsletter