Grinchmas 2023 · Horror · Horrorthon365 · Microreview · Movies

Grinchmas 2023: ‘The Apology’ Is Every Level of Christmas Horror, From Grief to Murder

The holiday season can be the most awful time of year, especially when you’re grieving and have a strained relationship with your family. Such is the case for Darlene (Anna Gunn), who lives alone in her lakeside mountain town cabin and continues to hold out hope that her 20-years-missing daughter Sally (Holland Bailey) will be found. And this year, she’s hosting Christmas Day festivities at her house for her sister and children. The weight of all this tests Darlene’s sobriety when, just as she’s about to have her first vodka neat in 19 years, there’s a knock at her door.

Her unexpected visitor is Jack (Linus Roach), her ex-brother-in-law who wanted to surprise his children, who he hadn’t spent Christmas with in the 20 years since Sallys disappearance. What at first seems like an innocent enough pop-in, especially as Jack reminds Darlene of their romantic past. She’s lonely, after all, with just her old friend and neighbor Gretchen (Janeane Garafolo) to keep her company. But Jack’s visit takes an unexpected, shocking, and indescribably awful turn as Jack reveals his actual Christmas Eve motive, shattering Darlene’s quiet life on every level.

Alison Star Locke’s ‘The Apology’ reads as much as a play as it does a taut Christmas horror movie, as she focuses on two commanding performances from Anna Gunn and Linus Roach. The thunder and snowstorm sets the stage for a claustrophobic and quietly devastating narrative.

✨Cassette tape/5 stars. Highly recommend not waiting until Christmas Eve to reveal family secrets.✨

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Zuzu Zombie’s #Horrorthon365 project is a collection of eclectic genre watchlists with accompanying microreviews to suit the changing seasons. Horrorthon365 was sparked by a gnarly hand injury and carpal tunnel surgery gone awry, hence the flash-style reviews. After a wicked fall at home and brutal elbow fracture that required surgery, posts will be sporadic until I’m healed. In the meantime, browse the entire collection here