Angels in the Snow (2015) – XMAS HOLIDAY MOVIE REVIEW

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By Geno McGahee

My Christmas holiday movie review spree continues and has led me to a somewhat strange made for TV film called “ANGELS IN THE SNOW”. A dysfunctional family, the Montgomerys, are on their way to a cabin that the father, Charles (Chris Potter), has just built. The tension in the car on the way up is thick with Judith (Kristy Swanson), the wife, detached, and the two teens, Jennifer (Lizzie Boys) and Alexander (Nick Purcha) at each other’s throats. The youngest, Emily (Jaeda Lily Miller), is the only one in the car that appears to want a happy family and she keeps talking about how much fun they will have.

They arrive at the cabin and it’s awesome. It’s huge with a fireplace and it would make anyone happy…but not Judith. She immediately notes that she didn’t expect it to be so grand and you can see the reaction from Charles. It looked like Frosty the snowman came into the house and booted him in the nuts as hard as he could. No good deed goes unpunished.

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Charles will not stop and wants his family to be happy and to communicate. He insists that everyone shuts off their phones and tablets and that they do things that are fun and family-oriented. Alexander, his biggest pain in the ass next to his wife, starts rambling on about his dad’s phone and how he keeps it on. Charles tries to explain that he has a business he needs to run and he must keep it on in emergencies. Alexander just rolls his eyes, but how does he think he got that fucking tablet? His dad paid for it and where is the gratitude? It seems that poor Charles cannot get a break from anyone. For at least 20 minutes I was expecting the guy to hang himself and nobody would have blamed him, but he was able to hang in there.

Charles and Judith have a good fight and poor little Emily overhears it and interrupts. She enters the room and tells her mom that her friend said she was the prettiest mom he’s seen. Once again, Charles is snubbed. She could have said “And he also noted that her friend called you a sexy bitch,” but he was once again left hanging and feeling bad about himself. What the hell did he do to receive all this bullshit? He works hard, pays for everything and tries to communicate with his family, and maybe he’s not good at it, but they could do a little more! On top of that, his kids are annoying. His daughter, Jennifer, keeps correcting his grammar along with everyone else’s. It was obnoxious.

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A big snowstorm hits and the Tuckers, a family stranded in the snow, show up knocking. They let them in and they are very well-received, but Charles wasn’t even allowed to have an opinion. When they were knocking, I know that he was thinking about movies like FUNNY GAMES and THE STRANGERS, but they told him, without saying, that you’re not Charles in Charge bitch. Thankfully, the Tuckers were not there to kill the Montgomerys, but it was a possibility.

Joe Tucker (Colin Lawrence), his wife, Amy (Catherine Lough Haggquist), his son, Robbie (Kolton Stewart), and daughter Lucie (Alexandra Siouras), are almost too happy. It’s a big change for the Montgomery family and a welcome change for young Emily that had wished that her family would have a good Christmas and that there would be no divorce for her parents, which seemed quiet imminent. In a very disturbing moment, Alexander and Jennifer watch how Robbie and his sister interact. Jennifer asks her brother why he isn’t nice to her like that. He says “if you looked like her, I would.” What the fuck is that? Who would say that to their sister? If you looked good, I’d treat you right. That’s freaking disturbing.

Alexander starts awkwardly romancing Lucie, and Robbie begins to click with Jennifer, despite her continual grammar correction. Judith starts confiding in Amy and we start to get hints (spoiler) that the Tuckers died earlier in the day and that they are spirits there to help them. In case you miss the first hint, there will be five hundred more hints as the movie goes. I was waiting for the Tuckers to say in unison “WE ARE DEAD! CAN YOU NOT TAKE A FUCKING HINT?”

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Joe introduces a game his grandmother taught him, after this group got overly excited about playing monopoly. I hate that game! Considering that Alexander and Jennifer were so pissed about losing electronics, the fact that they both were as happy as shit when the Tuckers bring out a Monopoly game. Anyway, Joe brings forth this game where they pass a candle around where they say what they are thankful for. When the candle gets into the hands of Charles, he begins to talk about how thankful he is that he can provide for his family and that business is good, and Judith gets pissed and storms off. He cannot make her happy! So much so that she informs him that she is leaving him and taking the kids. She should have taken that candle and shoved it up his ass while she was at it. I feel for Charles. Such a nice guy and so mistreated.

After more stress, Charles makes a walk into the blizzard to retrieve a photo from his vehicle, and he falls and bumps his head and is now knocked out. When he awakes, he asks the Tuckers to stay another day so he can try to save his marriage. They agree, but not after giving fifteen more hints that they are dead. The demon that haunted the Montgomery family is revealed and we get the most impactful scene of the movie. It comes out that the family had a young daughter that died in her crib and Charles blames himself because he was watching her. Judith and Charles begin to open up to each other and they reconnect. The Tuckers did save Christmas and the Montgomery family, which was their purpose.

It is revealed that the Tuckers are dead and it shocks the Montgomery family and just in case you weren’t paying attention and listening to the five trillion hints that they were dead, they recap all the clues. This did not get THE SIXTH SENSE shocking ending, but they did have some shockingly bad green screen CGI. Much of this film looked very fake and I’m not sure why they did it…but they probably shot in the summer and had to put the snowy background into it, but it wasn’t done well. They also had this shot of the SUV owned by the family and it’s snowed over and it looks SO BAD. Why did they need that? We know that there was a blizzard.

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ANGLELS IN THE SNOW, despite the bad CGI and silly moments, is actually pretty good. It was nice to see Kristy Swanson again and Chris Potter was very good in the role of Charles. Poor, poor, Charles. I don’t care what his family says. That cabin was freaking awesome.

The cast was very good overall and it turns out to be a good holiday film. I’m glad I gave this one a shot.

Rating: 6.5/10