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How to have a horrible holiday.

Byline: BUZZWORTHY by The Register-Guard

Ah, yes. Nothing says "Merry Christmas," "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Holidays" like a slasher flick.

Not just any slasher flick, either. "Wolf Creek," one of those "inspired by a true story" slasher flicks, is what Roger Ebert called a `sadistic celebration of pain and cruelty.' (To find out why the movie earned the rare `no stars' designation, see his full review on Page 15.)

The film opens Sunday at Cinemark. Whether one likes horror flicks - or even this horror flick - isn't the point. The idea of "counterprogramming" Christmas and Hanukkah, which starts at sundown on Sunday, with a low-budget Australian horror movie is, well, horrific.

Sure, there should be choices offered beyond the annual viewing of "It's a Wonderful Life." But watching three college kids get tortured by a psycho in the Australian outback is truly cynical.

Heck, even `The Ringer,' a Johnny Knoxville flick produced by Peter and Bobby `There's Something About Mary" Farrelly, manages to evoke good will and humanity.

If your family tradition is to spend a few hours of the holiday weekend in a darkened movie theatre, there are plenty of options open to you - options that don't include gore and mutilation.

`Memoirs of a Geisha,' from Oscar-winning "Chicago" director Rob Marshall, opens today at Cinema World and Cinemark. `Munich' and `The Ringer' open today at Cinemark, while `Christmas in the Clouds' - an actual Christmas movie, and an American Indian one at that! - opens today at the Bijou Art Cinemas.

On Sunday, the Jennifer Aniston-starring, Rob Reiner-directed `Rumor Has It' opens at Cinema World and Cinemark, while `The Producers' joins `Wolf Creek' at Cinemark.

So for this season, we'll say our final "Happy Holidays."

If Bill O'Reilly blasts us for it, so be it.
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Title Annotation:Entertainment
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Dec 23, 2005
Words:293
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