If anything, Syfy’s latest original movie, Christmas Icetastrophe, will give local newscasts a new term — “icetastrophe” — to add into their weather reports, along with “snowpocalypse” or “snowmageddon.” Given the film’s title, and tagline — “Don’t Get Iced” — it is surprisingly more serious than your average Syfy flick, and with not as many ice-related puns as I was expecting (I only noticed one, in fact, when a guy yells out “Chill!” just before getting crushed by a huge ice block).
The movie takes place on Christmas in a small town in the mountains of Washington state. As the townspeople gather on main street to dedicate a new series of retail stores, a meteor suddenly appears and splits in two, with one part crashing right in the midst of the celebration. Almost immediately, the meteorite begins sending out deadly shards of ice that impale people, as well as occasional blasts of “flash freezes” that instantly freeze-dry anything in their path (there is one seemingly unintentionally funny scene where a supposed victim of this freezing is petrified with eyes wide open in shock; unfortunately, the poor extra playing the part can’t keep his eyes from blinking on occasion).
It’s up to a local worker (Victor Webster), his son (Richard Harmon), a visiting astrophysicist grad student (Jennifer Spence) and a local businessman named Crooge (Mike Dopud) to try to move the townspeople to safety and find out how to reunite the pieces of the meteorite to stop the chaos (in some of the worst “science” ever to appear in a Syfy film, one piece of the meteorite emits extreme heat, the other cold, and the two manage to offset each other when combined).
There is some interpersonal drama, as well, with the businessman’s daughter, Marley Crooge (played by Tiera Skovbye, whose character has a name that is seemingly a nod to the holiday of the film’s title) involved with the worker’s blue-collar son, causing friction among the parents, but not for long.
Christmas Icetastrophe falls into the “disaster” category of original movie that Syfy will often make; it is probably the most popular category next to the network’s creature features. On Christmas Day, Syfy will air a marathon of cold weather disaster-themed movies so you can compare and contrast them with Icestastrophe, but this latest one is among the more intriguing. There are some groan-worthy special effects, as you’d expect, but it does a good job of putting you into not only a cold weather frame of mind, but in a Christmas mood, as well, with some carols scattered among some of the scenes. If you’re having a holiday gathering this Saturday, it might be worth turning on amid the ugly sweaters and eggnog.
Christmas Icetastrophe premieres Dec. 20 at 9pm ET/PT on Syfy.
Photo: Cinetel Films