Spoiler-Free Review of “The Mean One” in Theaters: Campy Christmas Chaos

*This is a spoiler-free review so feel free to read on!*

“You’re a monster…”

The Mean One released in theaters on December 9th 2022. The holiday horror film (inspired by How the Grinch Stole Christmas) stars David Howard Thornton, Krystle Martin, and Chase Mullins. It runs for approximately 90 minutes.

After witnessing the murder of her mother, Cindy returns to her hometown twenty years later when the monster responsible resurfaces.

Here is the trailer:

The Mean One turns a classic holiday tale into a campy slasher film, which does have a few redeeming qualities. Is it worthy of your next watch? Let’s find out…

The Pros:

Images courtesy of Sleight of Hand Productions

Fun twist on the story.

With Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey on its way for 2023, it seems like this may have paved the way for more classic tales to turn into mindless slasher films and so we have The Mean One, which is a slasher take on How The Grinch Stole Christmas. 

There have already been a few versions of The Grinch, but this one decided to really destroy all holiday cheer with a monster that will rip you to shreds if you even think about humming “Jingle Bells.”

Even though it was campy and silly, I liked the spin on the story and I’m always up for a campy slasher film.

Images courtesy of Sleight of Hand Productions

Violence galore.

The blood effects were pretty cheesy and poorly done, but there were actually a few decent kill scenes that were entertaining. David Howard Thornton brought his killer charm from The Terrifier and easily embraced this role, giving it as much as he could.

The Cons:

Images courtesy of Sleight of Hand Productions

Shaky camera effects and poor quality…

I actually felt dizzy a few times watching this. The camera angles felt odd and really shaky. There was poor lighting and some of the worst transitions into scenes I have ever seen. The gore effects needed some work as well. 

The acting wasn’t really that great either, but the film did channel some campy fun. If you enjoy B-horror movies, you’ll find some things to enjoy. I just wanted this film to put in a little bit more effort in all departments. I also thought this film should have released exclusively on a streaming site like Shudder instead. My theater was practically empty on a Friday night…

So am I in or out?

Images courtesy of Sleight of Hand Productions

I’m 50/50 on this one…

The Mean One has some campy slasher fun with the classic holiday tale, but the poor quality got in the way several times.

I hope you enjoyed the review and feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on The Mean One in the comments section below. Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl


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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

I live in Long Island, NY. I am obsessed with TV, movies, reading and writing! My top TV shows are Lost, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Beverly Hills 90210. My dog, Honey, loves TV too!

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