Ben Arzate’s The Christmas Movie is an excellent example of the author letting the atmosphere do the heavy lifting. There’s a healthy dose of surreal, semi-supernatural horror involved in the story, but it’s the unsettling feeling of something not being right that carries the message home.
The discovery of a potentially unknown television Christmas movie from decades past quickly transforms for the protagonist from a sense that he’d found lost treasure to the ominous feeling that he’s obtained a cursed object. What initially seems like a particularly low-budget, low-quality Christmas movie broadcast by a Christian television network in the 1980s begins to produce a sense of dread as the movie appears to change with each new viewing.
As the protagonist obsessively immerses himself within repeated viewings of the movie, an impression of familiarity becomes apprehension.
As he prepares to return home to his family for the holidays, we’re left with the same sense of trepidation–bordering on panic–the protagonist experiences.
This story was released as part of the AntiChristmas event at http://www.godless.com for December of 2021. You can pick it up for yourself by going to the website or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile devices. The link is below: