The Mean One (2022) Film Review: A Grinchy Christmas Horror

Movie Bunker Score:

The Mean One: A Film with Unrealized Potential

When it comes to films, sometimes there’s a premise so intriguing that it grabs your attention instantly. Enter “The Mean One,” a horror/parody film that piqued my curiosity with its murderous monster resembling a certain green children’s book character. Directed by Steven LaMorte, this movie had the potential to be a thrilling and entertaining experience. However, despite its promising premise, “The Mean One” falls short of expectations due to poor visual editing, questionable directing choices, and an underwhelming plot.

A Missed Opportunity for Visual Excellence

One of the key areas where “The Mean One” falters is its visual execution. The film suffers from inconsistent lighting and color grading, which becomes distracting as each scene transitions. Shaky-cam, a technique that adds intensity in specific action-packed moments, is overused and appears even in still scenes where it feels unnecessary. Additionally, the heavy reliance on post-production effects results in elements like blood spurts, stains, fire, smoke, and even props appearing clearly artificial. These visual flaws detract from the overall viewing experience and prevent the film from fully capitalizing on its potential.

A Lack of Commitment to the Absurd

Had “The Mean One” fully embraced the absurdity of its premise and leaned into the campiness, the shortcomings in visuals could have been forgivable. Regrettably, the movie often takes itself too seriously, leading to tonal clashes. Although meta jokes acknowledging the parody nature of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” are present, the film fails to capitalize on this opportunity due to restrictions preventing direct references to the iconic character. The few instances of whimsical humor are limited to David Howard Thorton’s portrayal of the Mean One, channeling Jim Carrey’s memorable performance. However, these moments aren’t enough to save the film from feeling like a standard slasher flick, lacking the creativity and homage to the original story that fans may have hoped for.

Unfulfilled Potsential

In essence, “The Mean One” can be summed up in two words: unrealized potential. Despite having all the necessary components to become a cult classic, the film falls short due to its cheap-looking visuals, lackluster writing, inconsistent tone, and missed opportunities to pay homage to the source material. While it’s understandable that the production may have had budget limitations, there were alternative ways to honor the original story beyond simplistic puns. As a result, “The Mean One” leaves viewers with a sense of disappointment.

Release Details

“The Mean One” is set to hit theaters in the United States on December 9, 2022. While the film may not live up to its potential, it will undoubtedly find an audience curious to witness its unique take on a beloved character. Whether it becomes a cult favorite or fades into obscurity, only time will tell.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is “The Mean One” suitable for children?

No, “The Mean One” is not suitable for children due to its horror elements and violent scenes. It is recommended for mature audiences only.

2. Does “The Mean One” rely heavily on references to Dr. Seuss?

While “The Mean One” draws inspiration from Dr. Seuss’ iconic character, it is unable to directly reference him due to legal restrictions. The film instead attempts to create a parody without crossing copyright boundaries.

3. Are there any standout performances in “The Mean One”?

David Howard Thorton delivers a commendable performance as the Mean One, injecting moments of Jim Carrey-inspired whimsy into the role. However, it’s important to note that standout performances are limited in the overall execution of the film.

4. Will “The Mean One” become a cult classic despite its flaws?

While it’s difficult to predict the future reception of any film, “The Mean One” does possess some elements that may attract a cult following. However, its shortcomings may hinder its ability to achieve true cult status.

5. Does “The Mean One” offer any unique twists on the horror genre?

Unfortunately, “The Mean One” does not offer significant or innovative twists within the horror genre. It remains primarily focused on delivering a slasher-style narrative without exploring new territory.


In conclusion, “The Mean One” falls short of its potential due to its visual shortcomings, lack of commitment to its concept, and failure to fully embrace the campiness that could have made it a memorable experience. Despite the film’s flaws, it may still find an audience thanks to its intriguing premise and references to a beloved character. However, for those seeking a truly captivating horror-comedy, “The Mean One” may leave them wanting more.