Sint: Revenge Is Best Served Cold


On our 25 Days of Christmas countdown, and today, on the feast of St. Nicholas we look at another foreign film on the origins of jolly old St. Nicholas, and this one is just as dark as the one we saw yesterday in Rare Exports.  A celebration of Sinterklass, his image distorted by years of forgetfulness, and almost forty years since the last full moon, most people have forgetten.  Sint (Saint in English) is about the ghost of a vengeful bishop, who along with his gang was murdered, and seek revenge everything his feast day is celebrated under the full moon.

Since today is the feast of St. Nicholas, I figured, what better day to work a movie about an evil version right?

Sint Plot

In 1492, a gang, front manned by a bishop is killed by villagers who are tired of their villainous ways.  To cover up the evilness associated with the date, there is a celebration of that “saint” on December 5th, only when it coincides with a full moon, the gang returns, including Sinterklass, or Saint Nicholas, who seek their revenge on the townspeople.

So, we get subtitles in this trailer, but from that alone you get that there is something supernatural that is tormenting this town.  And this bad guy doesn’t just hide in the shadows.  He rides a freak horse on rooftops.  I mean, how cool is that?

This seems to be another in the long line of horror movies of someone knowing what is going to happen, but the police write it off as superstition, and don’t get convinced to ban all St. Nick activities. Why does this guy want all activities banned? Because then people would know who the real Sint is and who is just pretending. Because the guy dressed up as Sint for the celebration is going to have ready access to a horse.

Now, I was an alter boy. I carried many a crosier in my day. Some of them were heavy enough that if a feisty Bishop wanted to bludgeon you with it, they could easily. I have never seen one with a razor sharp edge that can be used as a weapon. The crosier is typically just a sign of office, but not for St. Nick.

Realistically, banning all activities isn’t going to help, because it isn’t just the Sint that people have to be worried about, its his band of blackened Zwarte Pieten who are blood thristy as well. Blackened from the fire that killed them hundreds of years ago, they return every 32 years on that full moon to seek revenge.

Of course the Catholic Church and local authorities like to downplay any incident surrounding the ordeal, playing down any involvement of St. Nicholas, or his band of misfits.

Well this year the people fight back, and figure out to quickly that bullets don’t work against ghosts. Someone finally figures out that the same fire (not the exact same fire, although that would have been cool if someone had lit like an eternal fire to never go out) that killed the Zwarte Pieten in 1492 could be used to scare them off in 2010.

Sint Cat

We have another foreign cast here, so unless your really into foreign films, your not going to recognize the names.  Cast list from the movie Wiki page:

  • Huub Stapel as St. Niklas, an evil bishop who was killed 475 years ago and murders every 23 years on 5 December.
  • Egbert Jan Weeber as Frank, a teenage boy who is falsely accused of being the 5 December killer.
  • Madelief Blanken as Natasha, a good friend of Frank.
  • Caro Lenssen as Lisa, Frank’s new girlfriend who believes in the myth of the evil bishop.
  • Escha Tanihatu as Sophie, Lisa’s best friend.
  • Niels van den Berg as young Goert
  • Bert Luppes as Goert, a suspended police officier who survived Sint’s murderous attack 40 years earlier and does not observe the Sinterklaas holiday anymore.
  • Cynthia Abma as Lisa’s mother
  • Kees Boot as a police officer
  • Joey van der Valden as Hanco, a good friend of Frank
  • Jim Deddes as Sander, another friend of Frank

I want to like this film.  I am not that much into foreign films, so getting me to sit still long enough to follow subtitles is painful.  If the bishop was killed though for wrong-doing, why make him a saint? I mean, obviously it is for the film, but it could have worked for any figure that was killed and is back seeking revenge when the conditions are right.

I like the fact that the perception of Sinterklass was warped enough to make it scary.  The fact that people actually sued the movie’s producers and makers over the movie posters because it confused children who believed in the actual Sinterklass.  I love the line of defense used by the films producer to win his argument and have his day in court.

If you can convince your children that Sinterklass exists, then truly you can convince them that the man on the poster and in the film is not.

Three out of five bloody Christmas Trees for this tale of supernatural Santa Claus.