Unholy Night

It is the night before Christmas and all through the decrepit school house nothing is stirring, not even a mouse.

Well that is not exactly the truth, but what has happened in this weather beaten building in the barren Icelandic tundra is more akin to cruel fantasy than stark reality. A few days ago the participants of an experimental rehab clinic came there in order to cast out their inner demons, stay away from temptation and finally discover a little about their sober selves. That didn’t go quite according to plan, but they discovered Santa was real.

Not the jolly fat man of the Coca Cola variety, but the scary outlawish Yule Man from Icelandic folk tales. Legend tells us that they were 13: Peeping Tom, Meathook and other family friendly names; and they were the children of a cannibalistic ogre called Greela, who was as old as the Sagas. Throughout the centuries they were used to frighten children – to ensure they would stay in over the harsh Christmas period.

Being used to that every day is a constant struggle for survival and the next fix the participants manage to fend of the Yule Men’s first attack – suffering some casualties in the battle. “Unholy Night” takes place the night after the first attack.

About the film

  • Type
    Short Film
  • National Premiere Date
    December 23, 2007
  • Genre
  • Length
    10 min.
  • Language
  • Original Title
    Örstutt jól
  • International Title
    Unholy Night
  • Production Year
  • Production Countries
  • IMDB
  • Website
  • Icelandic Film Centre Grant
  • Production Format
  • Aspect Ratio
  • Color
  • Sound
    Dolby Digital

Company Credits


  • 2010
    Scanorama European Film Forum