The Christmas Trap (U) | Close-Up Film

Dir. Harvey Lowry, US, 2017, 112 mins

Cast: Sierra McCormick, Brighton Sharbino, Shelly Long, Christian Kane, Joe Don Rooney, Bo Derek

Review by Michelle Moore

There have been several movies such as The Parent Trap, where typically twins are separated at birth and reunite many years later and switch places to experience the life the other has. The Christmas Trap has a similar theme, but in this case centres around two young girls from different backgrounds, meeting on a flight out of Vermont over the Christmas period travelling to a new town to stay with family they have never met/seen in some time.

They strike up a friendship and realise although they are both from completely different walks of life, they are both heading to spend Christmas with family they don’t really know. They decide to have a little fun and switch places and experience the life the other has.

Kara (Sharbino) was meant to be heading from a life with her father to extremely wealthy grandparents she has not seen in many years while Jessie (McCormick) lives with her cousin and is heading to her grandmothers who she has never met. Once heading out in completely different directions, Kara gets to experience what it is like to be a part of a large family while Jessie lives the high life with lavish parties and constant shopping outings. What first sets out as festive fun and games, soon turns the girls heads when life on the other side of the tracks is not all it has cut out to be.

The movie is a beautifully new and updated rendition of a theme that has been used before. It stands out and sets itself aside from other movies. From the way it magically opens, setting the Christmas spirit free from the outset with images of wonderfully decorated Christmas trees, music and gifts to the beautiful vocal talents of each girl shining bright when they are asked to sing in the Christmas pageant; they each sing Silent Night and do so brilliantly. As the movie closes there is a sing along with all characters involved including Christian Kane and Joe Don Rooney who we know can already belt out a tune and do beautifully here.

The only thing that stands out as a little odd is the reaction by the adults when the truth of what has happened comes out; everyone is a little calmer than you would expect. There are no stern words or cross faces but some very understanding family members. Maybe it is the Christmas joy and forgiveness in everyone, particularly when even more family history is revealed that bring these two families even closer. Christmas is certainly the time to spend with family, even those that you have only just met.

This light hearted festive movie will send warmth through your body this winter season and will be enjoyed by all the family.