Christmas is a time of year for families. A time to come together and celebrate. A time for overtly cynical advertising campaigns and special edition sandwiches. A time for traumatic office parties and embarrassed hangovers. However, for many the thought of having to spend time with their nearest and dearest elicits feelings of terror and anxiety. Adam Marcus’ Secret Santa is good old-fashioned family fun.

It’s time for the big annual Pope family Christmas Eve dinner and Shari (Debra Sullivan) is determined to make it the best yet. As she’s done with parenting, she’s pulled all the stops out and paid someone else to do all the work. It’s April’s (A Leslie Kies) turn to organise Secret Santa and she’s hoping to do something to repair her somewhat broken family. Nonetheless, the forced bonhomie soon turns deadly after someone spikes the punch.

Secret Santa is a film which has great potential but a mixture of poor production, bad acting and a dubious script means it falls short. In saying that, there is still a lot of fun to be had. I just wish it was tighter and had gone at it all guns blazing. To a man, woman and philandering ex-husband, every character is truly horrible. The Popes are the family from Hell and this Christmas they all get what they deserve.

Secret Santa is released on DVD by Frightfest Presents on 5 November and Digital HD on 3 December.