Inside No9, the dark anthology horror/comedy series from Steve Pemberton & Reese Shearsmith is very good at sneaking up on you with its twists and turns in its very dark tales and this Christmas special has been no different.
The episodes focus is on a video of a Christmas horror from the 70’s entitled ‘The Devil Of Christmas’ and concerns a family holed up in the German hills at Christmas and the legend of Krampus, The dark flipside of the St Nicolas tale. The episode is sporadically narrated by its director speaking to another unknown person regarding the ins and outs of filming. To reveal too much, as with all episodes of Inside No 9, would be to ruin the whole thing. Suffice to say this episode offers laughs and the dark, clever and twisted sense of humour the show is renowned for. Pemberton & Shearsmith send up dodgy 70’s Horror and TV novella in exemplary fashion in this episode and it works perfectly. Lots of bad acting, ropey sets & continuity errors, all intentional of course, it is a testament to their writing talent to make something deliberately bad so good. As with all the better episodes of Inside No9, the payoff doesn’t come until very late into the 30 minute run but in my opinion, it is a doozy, as wonderfully un-festive and subversive as their League Of Gentlemen Christmas special back in 2000.
I was also very happy to learn that Inside No9 will be returning in the new year for a 3rd series. When it is as well delivered and presented as this, the more the merrier.