Tribeca: “Sint” – Dick Maas shows the real Santa Claus, a bloodthirsty bishop

This entry was posted on 21.04.2011

Santa Claus is burning for revenge in Dick Maas' "Saint/Sint". Photo: Image.netSo you still think that Santa Claus is a nice man who appears every year and gives children chocolate and other gifts? Oh – you actually believe he doesn’t exist at all? Well, think again. Dick Maas shows the real saint in “Sint”, a violent, brutal bishop who might take your kid away. “Sint” will be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival this year.

The night of December 5th 1492. Santa Claus and his gang of black Peters appear in Amsterdam only to demand food and alcohol from the locals (American readers please note: The fest of Santa Claus or Nikolaus is celebrated on December 6th in parts of Europe; he has nothing to do with Christmas).

Yes: Children and their parents are putting boots in front of their doors – not to receive gifts, but to give them to the Santa. This year though the people have had enough: They burn down the Claus’ ship with the bishop and the crew.

A big mistake as it turns out: Every 32 years, whenever the full moon falls on the night before the “Nikolaus Day”, Santa Claus and the black Peters show up in the city and kill hundreds of children (and if necessary their parents).

Dick Maas uses this dark twist of a children’s hero for his movie which plays on December 5th 2010 – a new moon night by the way, not a full moon. The boys are back in town, Santa as well the Peters, killing several friends of Frank, a snotty teenager. He plays the bishop for children this night and becomes the prime suspect of the murders. Only the cop Goert knows the truth, but he is considered a psycho who believes that the catholic church and the Dutch government together try to cover up the brutal slayings of the past. This unlikely couple is the only chance to save Amsterdam from Claus & the Gang once and for all.

“Sint”, which stays well inside the boundaries of the slasher genre, is occasionally unny, but it sure isn’t ironic. You will hear a bloodcurdling scream (not from a woman though, but from a kid), a beautiful young woman will die early on, and you see all the effects that make your breath stop for a second, before the movie arrives at its full speed.

Once it does, “Sint” is more action- and less suspense-driven with only a few gory details. According to the PR company, Dick Maas’ movie was recently the highest grossing Dutch movie. The director has a little bit of a “cult status” because of the “Flodder” movies – comedies made for the big screen. And so is “Sint” – it definitely isn’t made for the nerds who love the extreme. The movie is fun anyhow, a nice little joyride for a cold December night at home.

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