It’s no secret the Elf Squad loves Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Still, we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t a little creepy. After all, a nefarious green creature sneaking into your home while you’re sleeping and robbing you… it has all the makings of a horror movie. And now team of independent filmmakers did just that. The result is the upcoming horror parody adaptation The Mean One. With all the key names and phrases changed for copyright reasons, it brings all the scary undertones of the original right to the surface and dials them up to eleven.
XYZ Films, which specializes in indie horror and international releases, collaborated with three other studios to create this movie. With help from A Sleight of Hands Productions, Amy Rose Productions, and Kali Pictures, they’ve assembled an incredible team of film pros who are also die-hard horror fans. And the end result is a Christmas slasher film that turns your childhood on its head.
A Very Bloody Christmas
The Mean One takes place in a fictitious, small mountain town called Newville. Just before Christmas, a young girl named Cindy You-Know-Who sees her parents getting butchered by a bloodthirsty green monster wearing a Santa suit. Twenty years later, the creature returns during the holiday season and once again terrorizes the town. And a now grown-up Cindy has one mission on her mind — to find the creature and kill him off for good.
The film stars David Howard Thornton as the titular Mean One and Krystle Martin as a revenge-seeking adult Cindy. And when you read through their resumes, you’ll see just how perfect these two actors are for this kind of film.
The Mean One Cast and Crew
An indie-horror veteran, David Howard Thornton is best known for his role as Art the Clown in the Terrifier franchise. And, years before that, he even played the titular role in touring productions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In 2016, he got the chance to portray the Joker in the DC Entertainment web series Nightwing: Escalation. With this kind of experience under his belt, it’s safe to say Thornton’s been practicing for this role for many years.
As for Martin, she’s worked as an actress and stuntwoman for over a decade now. Before taking on film roles, she performed in live stunt shows at major arenas and world-famous theme parks across the country. According to IMDB, some of her earliest gigs included Universal Studios' Special Events Show, Disneyland’s Avengers Assemble, and as Captain Marvel in Marvel Universe Live! More recently, she appeared on an episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star and served as a stunt double on the anthology series, American Horror Stories.
Heading up the entire project is indie director Steven LaMorte. A New York native, he got his start with short films and TV episodes before helming the 2019 miniseries Nightwatch with A Sleight of Hands Productions. He is joined behind the scenes by father and son writing team Flip and Finn Kobler, who created the screenplay together. Both worked with LaMorte on his upcoming mystery, Gumshoe High. And Flip — who previously worked on numerous Disney video sequels — also makes a small appearance in the movie.
The Latest Grinch Adaptation
This is only the latest of several on-screen versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The first one, of course, being the beloved 1966 animated TV special, famously narrated by horror legend Boris Karloff. And we can’t forget about the live action 2000 movie starring Jim Carrey and directed by Ron Howard. Although reviews were mixed at the time of its release, it’s since become a yearly favorite for millions of households. Most recently, there’s the 2018 computer animated film with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the title role. That one earned over half a billion dollars overall, yet many thought it was lacking the charm of the original.
Now, this latest adaptation will give us plenty of scares, and hopefully some genuine thrills, to go with our Christmas cheer. The Mean One will be free to stream starting December 15, 2022