11th Aug2020

‘Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas In The Dark’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Yang Miller, Ron Lynch, Tom Lyons, James Myers, Zach Riedmaier, Colin Scianamblo, Briscott Stevenson, Nick Turner, Drew Ullman, Nick Vatterott, Michelle Weiser, Jackie Zebrowski, James Adomian | Written and Directed by Travis Irvine

With a title like Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas In The Dark, I knew exactly what I was in for with this one. And anyone else will probably know if they are going to like it or not. I was quietly looking forward to it. Ridiculous killer animal – tick, Christmas horror theme – tick. Even though it’s August, I’m ready.

Although this is a sequel, I can tell you it is not essential to have seen the first one because I haven’t. It does get mentioned a lot though and you quickly get the idea of what happened in it and which characters are in both movies. In this sequel it’s Christmas Eve and Ty Smallwood (not an obviously amusing name but they try a LOT of jokes about it) hops on a train to Washington D.C. after being released from prison. Unfortunately for him the train is hijacked by domestic terrorists who are working alongside some government trained, highly intelligent raccoons. Ty must save the day.

I will get my Christmas movie complaints out of the way first. I love seasonal movies but just chucking Christmas in your title is not enough. They seem to have tried to go down the Die Hard route here (yes, that IS a Christmas movie) but being set on Christmas Eve, having a few Christmas lights, some snow and the very occasional Christmas music is too little. They even have a brief sight of Santa Claus but it never feels like a movie that does enough with that gimmick.

Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas In The Dark goes down the parody route, wanting to be like a Naked Gun-style movie but there are way too many misses than hits when it comes to laughs. There might be one funny line for every four or five bad ones. That said, it did make me laugh quite often but I rolled my eyes much more. Having a black guy say ‘coon’ instead of raccoon will never be funny.

There are some decent performances. Yang Miller as Ty, the lead, does well and others show occasionally that they can deliver a funny line. But I’m not sure it’s a good thing when Ron Jeremy is the best performer in your movie. Despite looking zoned out for much of his extended cameo, his delivery is great and the filmmakers seem to agree because he has plenty of lines.

Killer Raccoons! 2! goes full modern B-movie with the deliberately awful CGI and what are kind of hand puppets or children’s toys for the raccoons. It seems they couldn’t get babies elf outfits to fit the raccoons because instead they wear elf outfits that are way to big and they’re all wrapped up in them. Having them shoot machine guns and get beaten up is still funny but it could have been funnier. The ‘big’ final fight scene worked for me to. It’s a play on the more serious close-up in a small space fight scenes from much more popular movies but it’s played for laughs and looks pretty good on the whole.

This wants to be the next Snakes On A Plane (they even quote that one) or the next Zombeavers but it never reaches those heights. They say never judge a book by its cover but if you look at the poster for Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas In The Dark and read the title, you’ll know whether you will like this or not.

Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas In The Dark is out now.


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