Santa Jaws is one of those movies that comes from the inception of one extremely silly idea and is executed with the agony of a million extra terrible ones. You can probably pinpoint the foundation of this excruciating streaming pile of garbage to the passing of a joint and a few simple “What ifs.” What if we made a terrible shark movie but put a Santa hat on the shark fin that protrudes from the water? What if there was the sound of bells jingling as it approaches, rather than John Williams’ iconic “da-dum” score? If you’d like the answer to these questions and other inquiries you never thought you’d be asking, turn to Santa Jaws (streaming on Amazon Prime) and prepare to be enlightened. That is, if you survive.

This absurd and brutally boring work of science fiction follows a moody teen comic book illustrator named Cody (Reid Miller). Annoyed with the fact that he has to spend time with his family on Christmas, Cody bitterly illustrates his latest invention, “Santa Jaws,” after being grounded by his mom. But here’s the catch. Because he’s using an inexplicably magic pen gifted to him by his grandfather, this festive creature manifests itself in the nearby water and begins to take out Cody’s family members one by one.

It’s tough to tell if there are more cracks in Cody’s pubescent voice or the plot of this train wreck. The main problem here is that, despite the campy concept of a Christmas-themed shark monster (which also boasts red laser eyes, for some reason), Santa Jaws doesn’t know what to do with the rest of its time. If you were monitoring the titular creature’s screen time with a stopwatch throughout the film, you’d probably end up clocking in at about 90 seconds, two minutes max. And keep in mind, this figure would be far less if you’re eliminating all the moments where we’re simply teased with a Santa hat-topped shark fin on the surface of the water. When we actually get a full closeup or body shot of Mr. Santa Jaws, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from this type of movie. In short, there have likely been better visual creations by elementary school students using Microsoft Paint.

So what are we left with when the eponymous monster only occupies about 3% of the movie’s visual stocking stuffers? Cinematic coal, essentially. When you have such a limited VFX budget and you need to pad an 88-minute running time with enough momentum to make the story interesting, you’ll pull out all the stops. Writer Jake Kiernan does just that with clichés, pointless character arcs, a ditzy female character who inexplicably ends up in a bikini top for the remainder of the film, and shoehorned one-liners, including “Santa Jaws is coming to town” and “Ho, Ho, Ho, you son of a fish.”

Director Misty Talley does her best with this ridiculous material, but the result is so bland and unflatteringly stitched together that you spend the majority of the movie just waiting for the damn thing to end. It’s a long hour and a half to the finish line, and Santa Jaws is really only worth the watch if you’re prone to succumbing to your own morbid curiosity. Otherwise, spare yourself the pain.

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