It seems everyone is getting in on the Christmas movie racket these days. It works for Hallmark and Lifetime, so why not? Amazon’s got its holiday films, as does Netflix, and to a lesser degree, HBO Max. Even The Asylum has jumped on the bandwagon. Yep. The studio that brought us Transmorphers, Blood Lake, and the Sharknado series have also brought us 2013’s A Snow Globe Christmas.
Meg (Alicia Witt) is a film director making a Christmas movie, of course, and she’s a bit of a Scrooge. She’s selfish, she’s inconsiderate, and she’s irked because her boyfriend, Eric (Trevor Donovan) is heading to Vegas instead of spending Christmas with her. She also has this strange obsession with stroking a snow globe, yelling about Christmas not being for elves and is not above telling off a seemingly hapless Salvation Army bellringer (Christina Milian) who’s posted herself right outside the soundstage door.
Only…this bell ringer is special. Her name is Sal, and she has a few things to say about that snow globe Meg is so attached to; namely, her life will never be as idyllic what’s in that perfect orb of glass. Defiant Meg says she doesn’t need it and slams the thing down. Improbably, it bounces, so she tries again, and this time the snow globe beans her in the forehead. Meg wakes up in a picture-perfect town covered with snow, where she’s married to a nice guy named Ted (Donald Faison), has two perfect children, Mia (Damoni Burkhardt) and Ted, Jr. (Hayden Faraday) and they live in a perfect house smack dab in the middle of the woods.
Sal is there to explain it all. She shows up in the oddest places, most often as a cop, and she tells Meg that she’s trapped in a snow globe. She can’t walk out. She can’t drive out. The one train in town only circles the place but never leaves. The place is perfect, Meg’s life is now perfect, and she’s got to live with it. She could be her usual “Bah, humbug!” self, or she could embrace the perfection and be the nice, kind Christmas-loving person she was meant to be.
Problem is, things aren’t as perfect as they look. Meg goes between forgetting who she is and what she’s doing to acting as if she’s lived in the snow globe her entire life, which confuses poor Ted, not to mention Mia and Ted Jr., who go between acting as if Meg is their real mother to acting as if she’s just the stand-in.
Snowglobe Town has its own problems. There’s a lot of infighting amongst the townspeople and the Christmas pageant Ted and Meg are putting on is falling apart. Mia has set the hot chocolate guy and the town baker against each other in a bidding war and they argue every time they see each other. Ted Jr. locks himself in a dressing room and climbs out a window. Plus the mayor is greedily eyeballing the woods surrounding the town as land for a golf course. He’s a creepy fellow who has no problem slipping Meg a hotel key, much to the horror of she and Ted. Is Meg going to make everything right, or will she take the easy way out and cross the magical bridge back to her real life?
Oh, and she sees a lot of familiar faces from her film set. It’s completely understandable to expect Meg to wake up and start pointing at the people around her a la Dorothy Gale: “You were there, and you, and you, and you. But you couldn’t have been, could you?”
I went into this thinking I knew what to expect. It’s an Asylum film, so it’s bound to suck in one way or another, right?
Shockingly enough, aside from that bouncing snow globe which was just kinda funny, the movie really doesn’t suck..much. It’s not a mockbuster. There are no bad filming angles or extras running past the same shop windows twice (Titanic II, anyone?). There’s no terrible CGI. The snow looks fake, but that’s to be expected.
However, that doesn’t mean the proceedings are completely free from suckage. The snowglobe thing could have been played up so much more, for one thing. Not only are snowglobes confining and perfect-looking, but the movie misses a key element of Snow Globe World: It only snows when things get turned upside down and shaken. Things get shaken up in the movie, but not literally, although that would have been fun.
The story is predictable as all get-out because it’s a Christmas movie, so there has to be a Scrooge, there have to be at least a few changes of hearts, there has to be at least one person or town that’s down on their luck, there has to be Christmas cheer of all sorts, and there has to be something in need of saving. And there has to be egg nog and sweets everywhere we look. This movie is going to have us craving sugar cookies with lots of icing, dangit, or know the reason why.
In other words, Asylum made a fairly typical, fairly decent by the standards of the genre, Christmas movie. It’s a little jarring, because it’s not remotely close to the ludicrousness we typically expect from the good folks at the Ayslum, but it’s not unwelcome, either.
Our last Shamedown of 2022 is coming up tomorrow. I have no idea if it’s a Christmas movie, but it’ll be fun, anyway (I hope). Thanks for reading, all, and have a good one…
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