CANDY CANE LANE – A Review by John Strange

CANDY CANE LANE – A Review by John Strange

Eddie Murphy headlines Candy Cane Lane, a Christmas holiday film now playing on Netflix.  Chris Carver (Murphy) is a good father and husband, with a strong competitive streak that comes out in spades each Christmas as the houses on Candy Cane Lane compete for the home with the best seasonal decorations.

This year, the competition is more intense than ever.  Chris and his neighbors, like Bruce (Ken Marino), are informed that the competition is enhanced this year with $100,000 on the line for the winning family.

When Carver gets desperate to win, he encounters an elf while out shopping for new ideas.  Pepper (Jillian Bell) offers the man what he wishes for.  But it has a hidden price (ALWAYS read the fine print).  One he doesn’t discover until after the elf’s spell kicks in and animates the 12 Days of Christmas.

This film is like a Hallmark Christmas film crossed with a comedy horror film.  Or as Pepper says to Chris, “What’s Christmas without a little terror?”

This film, despite the mild horror overtones, is a fun movie to watch.  And a relief from the cookie-cutter films from that other channel.  Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross as Chris’ wife Carol, Nick Offermann as Pip, and David Alan Grier as Santa Claus lead a great cast enhanced with the special effects used to bring the 12 Days of Christmas to life.  Jillian Bell as Pepper, the elf determined to punish all of the Naughty people in the world, one at a time, showed a strong talent for being a “bad guy”.

I had a nice time watching this film.  It’s good though I found myself wanting a bit more.  I give the effort 4.5 stars.


Director: Reginald Hudlin

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jillian Bell, Genneya Walton, Thaddeus J. Mixson, Madison Thomas, Nick Offerman, Chris Redd, Robin Thede, Ken Marino, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes, Lombardo Boyar, Timothy Simons, Danielle Pinnock

MPAA Rating: PG (for language throughout and some suggestive references)

Selig Rating: 4.5 Stars

Runtime: 157 Min.

Release Date: 12/1/2023

Release Location: Netflix

Language: English

Trailer: CANDY CANE LANE Official Trailer


The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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