When a bruised and battered man claiming to be Santa Clause is arrested for the murder of a child, the interrogating officers uncover a story more bizarre and horrific than expected. A violent
Christmas rivalry between the forces of good and evil where the outcome hinges on a promise made decades ago.
The award-winning duo, Sam Chou and Ellery VanDooyeweert, team up again for another animated thriller, this time delving into the turbulent origins of old Father Frost himself.
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"Recently, I had a conversation with my two children about the existence of Santa Claus. It seemed they had already started to suspect the truth for a couple of years. After sharing the reality with them, I asked them not to reveal it to their friends or classmates. I explained that it was now their responsibility to safeguard the secret for the other children who still believe in Santa. In a way, we formed an agreement, a sort of social contract.
This made me contemplate the concept of Santa Claus and his reputation for boundless generosity toward children.
What if there is a deeper layer to Santa's existence, a social contract that underpins it all?" - Sam Chou
IN THE HEAT serves as the second installment of a collaboration between Look Mom! Productions, renowned director Sam Chou, and accomplished writer Ellery Vandooyeweert. Their previous joint effort, the much-celebrated "VRDLK: Family of Vurdulak," became a festival favorite. Having premiered at the esteemed Fantasia International Film Festival in 2022, this episode from the first season has since garnered numerous awards at various film festivals worldwide.
Red Iron Road, created by Aljosha Klimov and Iouri Stepanov, is brought to life through the combined efforts of Lakeside Animation and Studio Metrafilms Moldova. This season, consisting of six episodes draws inspiration from the works of renowned European authors. The thrilling "In The Heat" episode is an adaptation of the eponymous short story by Anna Starobinets, often hailed as the "Russian queen of horror."
Clocking in at an intense 17 minutes, "In The Heat" is an animated thriller that defies traditional genre conventions. The narrative commences with investigators interrogating a man disguised as Santa Claus in connection with a horrifying crime. As the story unfolds, the detectives find themselves increasingly entangled in the case, realizing its inextricable links to their own past experiences. With each twist and turn, the situation grows more intricate, taking viewers on a hair-raising journey that will undoubtedly keep them on the edge of their seats."
This remarkable production made waves at the prestigious Annecy International Festival of Animation, where it stood out as the only Canadian project selected for the highly competitive TV FILMS competition. It went head-to-head with heavyweight contenders like Netflix's "Agent Elvis," "The Sandman," and "Oni: Thunder Gods Tale," as well as HBO Max's "Scavengers Reign."
Continuing its extraordinary trajectory, "In The Heat" has recently garnered yet another impressive accolade. The film has been chosen to compete in the upcoming Ottawa International Animation Festival, widely recognized as the largest animation festival in North America. What makes this selection even more special is that it holds a personal significance for director Sam Chou, as it is his hometown festival.
"Prepare to be gripped by fear and suspense as Chou masterfully combines the lore of Santa Claus with a David Fincher-esque detective thrill ride. With "IN THE HEAT," the festive season takes an unexpected twist, trading sugarplums and candy canes for heart-pounding terror. This animated gem pulls no punches, delivering a hair-raising experience that will have you on the edge of your seat. Get ready to immerse yourself in a world where the joyful mythology of Santa Claus collides with the nightmarish realms of horror."
Annecy International Animation Festival 2023
Ottawa International Animation Festival 2023
FILMQUEST Film Festival 2023
MACABRO International Horror Film Festival 2023
Calgary International Film Festival 2023
ANIMASYROS International Film Festival 2023
Atlanta Horror Film Festival 2023
"In The Heat" boasts a stellar cast of talented actors, each bringing their unique touch to the compelling characters of this animated thriller. Michael Dobson delivers a captivating performance as the enigmatic yet lovable Santa, adding an air of mystery to the role. The stoic and determined Detective Harris is brought to life by the remarkable Giles Panton, who infuses the character with depth and intensity.
Josh Peace showcases his exceptional talent by embodying the essence of Detective Bergh, effortlessly portraying the character's distinct "Boston" personality. Elley Ray Hennesey portrays Alice Lovely, a character shrouded in mystery and unsettlement, captivating audiences with her enigmatic presence.
Michael Cosh masterfully portrays the terrifying Lenochka, sending shivers down viewers' spines with his chilling performance. Julius Cho takes on the role of Connor Chu, immersing himself in the character and adding an extra layer of intrigue to the narrative.
Together, this talented ensemble cast breathes life into the characters of "In The Heat," elevating the storytelling and captivating audiences with their exceptional performances.