Parents' Guide to

'Twas the Fight Before Christmas

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Docu about Christmas-obsessed man suing neighbors; language.

Movie NR 2021 91 minutes
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Ultimately a profile of Jeremy Morris and his Christmas house decorating obsession, this docu is both fascinating and terrifying. 'Twas the Fight Before Christmas is fascinating primarily because of the sheer insanity of Morris, a man-child who is the epitome of White privilege, entitlement, and unmitigated litigious power (Morris can sue for free and seems to have no problem nor consequence financially with spending all his time fighting the HOA for over 7 years). Moment after moment of absurdity follow Morris and his wife, as they're hilariously oblivious to how they come across to everyone. For example, before moving to Hayden, Morris informs the HOA (and many neighbors) that first, he's a very powerful attorney, and second, that they need to accept his demands or else they'll feel his legal wrath. And then after moving into their new home and neighborhood, the Morris's are genuinely shocked to find that no one in the neighborhood welcomes them.

Secondly, this film is terrifying primarily because it's an example of how easy it can be for someone to disturb, frustrate, and terrify the lives of many. Morris makes threats constantly, makes people cry, harasses and attacks people, and all the while speaks openly and earnestly to the camera as if viewers will naturally side with him. He's quite simply someone most people would never want to ever come across. Thankfully, the whole religious freedom aspect of Morris's lawsuit isn't really the focus of this docu (nor should it be, as Morris's religious freedom claim was a trumped-up, made-up argument: Morris never mentions religion or his Christian beliefs until reading a poorly-worded clause in an email the HOA sent him); instead, the film wisely and simply lets Morris speak for himself.

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