Have you seen the new John Lewis advert? Have a watch below:
On the surface, a far less tear/guilt/retch-inducing effort than in previous years. Just some kitschy waffle about trampolines and dogs. And to their credit, they haven't asked Katie Melua to sing a ukulele cover of a Cancer Bats song.
But peer a little closer, beyond the very nice camera flares and swelling orchestra, and the true horror of John Lewis' tale unravels before your very eyes.
This is Buster, a dog with the intense, observant, mimicking stare of a borderline psychopath.
Now: Ignoring the fact that the little girl will wake up to find her present absolutely wringing with animal piss come Christmas morning (and foxes are notorious shitters), the sight of a bunch of shiny CGI animals bouncing around in the streetlights' halogen glow is enough to fill anyone with joy.
Well… almost anyone.
As Buster peers out from his warm, idyllic family home at the leaping wildlife – animals who spend their lives in a constant battle to survive, searching for food and shelter in the dead of night, miserable and cold – a sickening jealousy (presumably) takes over him.
He growls, half-anger and half-contemplation, taking in the scene. And then he frowns and cocks his head to the side. He knows what he is about to do next – and a small, distant part of him feels guilty about it – but he also knows, deep inside his poisoned canine heart, that it is inevitable.
Christmas morning, and the young girl bounds into the snow-drenched morning to find Buster bouncing like dog possessed, up and down on her brand new trampoline... or should we say, murder-line?
What exactly did Buster do to those poor animals of the night? It is not for us to know.
But the family is visibly shaken and shocked - and would you really react like that at the mere sight of a dog on a trampoline? No you would not. They heard the springs while they were watching TV. They felt Buster's vibe the night before, as he peered at those badgers, foxes and squirrels. They know what he's capable of.
And they understand that a joyful Buster means only one thing: that he has tasted blood.