If you settled into Adult Swim last night hoping to relax with a cozy Yule Log, you clearly haven’t watched much Adult Swim in the past. Instead, their Yule Log turned out to be a bizarre and very disturbing horror movie — a full, feature-length film from Casper Kelly, the creator of the viral sensation “Too Many Cooks”
Although the content is very different, the sensibility of both projects is the same: Take something nostalgic and beloved (Yule logs or the opening credits of ’80s sitcoms, respectively), extend it well-past normal length (and normal subject matter) and get weirder and darker and more surreal — and then, when you’ve reached any sane viewer’s breaking point, make it even stranger.
Adult Swim’s Yule Log starts in typical fashion, with an inviting fire and some cheerful Christmas music. But after a few minutes, a brutal murder takes place just off camera — which remains focused on the fireplace, even as the killers dispose of the body and the evidence. Then it turns out the camera is actually there because another character has placed it there to record his proposal to his girlfriend — they were out of the house at the time of the killing. Then they return, and he tries to propose. But then police arrive, warning of brutal crimes in the area. And so on.
Of course, you wouldn’t have known any of that from the promo for the Yule Log that aired on Adult Swim…
Here was how Kelly described the concept for this project, in a press release:
Last year during the holidays I was watching a yule log video and suddenly I had an image of legs walking past the fire, just slightly out of focus, and hearing dialogue off screen. I loved the mysteriousness of that, and a story started to form. I’m so grateful to Adult Swim for taking the plunge with me, and I’m so proud to have made their first live-action film!
You can watch the Adult Swim Yule Log in full on HBO Max. Do not put it on with the kids and the grandparents around this holiday season.
The Best Movies of 2022
Here are ScreenCrush’s picks for the top films of the year.