Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay)
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> Holiday: Christmas
Overall Rating 60%
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Ranked #3,009
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Genres / Traits: Horror Slasher Film Christmas

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Lilyan Chauvin
Lilyan Chauvin
Gilmer McCormick
Gilmer McCormick
Toni Nero
Toni Nero
Robert Brian Wilson
Robert Brian Wilson
Britt Leach
Britt Leach
Review by Tristan
Added: July 07, 2007
December 24th, 1971:

5 year old William Chapman (Jonathan Best) and his family are traveling to a mental institution to visit his grandfather for the holidays. When they arrive there, the grandfather is so heavily medicated he is unable to speak. Or so it would seem. When young William is left alone with his grandfather for a few minutes, the old man starts berating him with questions about how well behaved he is, and proceeds to tell him that Santa Claus will punish him for being a naughty boy. Afterwards, the child is understandably terrified, and leaves with his family for the long journey home. Once out on the highway, they see a car pulled over, and a man dressed like Santa Claus waving his arms around. What would seem harmless, is actually a criminal dressed as Santa Claus to knock over convenience stores. As the Chapman's slow down to offer the man a lift, he pulls a gun on them, causing the father to quickly throw the car in reverse, and attempt to drive away. Unfortunately for the father, the criminal fires off two rounds, hitting him through the windshield, and causing the car to back into a ditch. At this point, William runs away, abandoning his mother and baby brother to hide in the woods on the other side of the road. The criminal Santa then slits the mother's throat, and yells after William. Intense, I know.

December 24th, 1974:

William (Danny Wagner) is now 8 years old, and living with his younger brother Ricky in a Home for Orphaned Children, run by a Nurse Ratchedesque nun, known as Mother Superior (Lilyan Chauvin). After several mishaps with Santa, one of which was an 8 year old punching a 40 year old man out, Billy is repeatedly punished. This involves everything from smacks with a belt, to being tied to his bed at night. After this last incident, he runs to his room, cowards in the corner, and awaits his punishment.

December 24th, 1984:

It's 10 years later, William's (Robert Brian Wilson) 18, and working at a department store. Much to his dismay, he has to fill in as a replacement Santa, and keeps having awful flashbacks of that night 13 years ago. It's Christmas Eve, the store is now closed, and the boss and his employees have decided to unwind a little with some booze and snacks. Seems harmless. But after walking in on a co-worker "allegedly" raping another co-worker, he has a flashback of the way his mother died, and he begins his rampage. After making short work of the people in the department store, he sets out, killing all wrong doers, and delivering his own style of justice.

You watch a movie like this, and you can't help but love it. It's simple, gory, funny, spawns a whole ton of sequels, and is made for peanuts. It had everything I expected it to have, and they even took the time to do some pretty good character development. Very unusual for this type of film, but it was very rewarding in the end. Other than Billy yelling "PUNISH" about 34 times over the last twenty minutes of the movie, I can honestly say I didn't find anything wrong with it at all.

Nirrad #1: Nirrad - added 05/30/2008, 05:45 PM
Great movie. Even since I bought the DVD I plan to watch it every Christmas. Watched my copy 3 times since I picked it up and still love it. This is a classic! 8/10
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