Ho-Ho-Oh No! Watch Holiday Horror Short: JOLLY

He knows when you're awake...

By Angel Melanson · @HorrorGirlProbs · December 8, 2021, 6:25 PM EST
JOLLY (2020)

Santa, baby... maybe take it down a few notches. Falling asleep in the soft glow of Christmas lights has a special kind of comfort, but this may have ruined that for me just a little. How does the song go? "The disembodied Santa head sees you when you're sleeping..." or something like that. Jolly filmmaking duo Todd Spence and Zak White set out to make something scary for the holiday season. Spence says, "We hadn't done anything like that yet for our youtube channel, and also we love Christmas horror so much, especially the G.O.A.T. Black Christmas."

The inspiration came from necessity, thinking in terms of what they already had and could utilize for the short. Luckily Spence had an animatronic Santa head on hand (as one does) and that served as the catalyst for the story. "Our brilliant cinematographer who we've known since college, Dave Jacobsen, hit all the right notes we wanted to get that Black Christmas feel, and the brilliant Kate Klein who did the make-up created a fake head for that scissor stab at the end. In editing, the main chore was finding the right tone for Santa, which Zak provided the voice for. We quickly figured out there shouldn't be any tip-off as to him being a menace for the audience, and make it more about the creepy dialogue itself. Less is more. "

As far as nailing that not obviously menacing, but just menacing enough Santa voice, White says, "I spent many late-night hours maniacally Ho-Ho-Ho-ing in my garage. My neighbors haven’t made eye contact since." Don't look directly into the eyes of the Santa, but do take a look at this fun holiday horror short.