Silent Night (2012)

DVD Cover (Anchor Bay)
Genres / Traits: Horror, Slasher Film, Christmas
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Steven C. Miller Steven C. Miller
Malcolm McDowell Malcolm McDowell
Jaime King Jaime King
Donal Logue Donal Logue
Rick Skene Rick Skene
Ellen Wong Ellen Wong
Movie Connections:
Silent Night, Deadly Night
> Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night III:... (1989)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night 4:... (1990)
> Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The... (1991)
> Silent Night (2012)
User Lists:
> Christmas Tradition

5.2 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: December 25, 2014
In the realm of Christmas based horror movies, it's fairly commonplace to suit up a killer in a Santa Claus outfit and let him loose. The majority of them aren't worth the time it takes to watch them, but every once in a while, one of them knocks it out of the park.

It's Deputy Aubrey Bradimore's first Christmas since her husband passed away, but she's going to have to suck it up. The cop that was supposed to cover her shift is MIA, so duty calls. Turns out he didn't make it in because a psychopath strapped him down in an abandoned cellar and fried him in an electric chair. Working with Sheriff Cooper, they follow the investigation to a seedy hotel where the killer has been caught on camera slaughtering a soft porn producer. While this may seem like a lucky break, the killer is dressed as Santa Claus himself, and it just so happens to be the day of the town's Santa Costume Contest. As the bodies quickly pile up, Aubrey and Cooper have to find this needle in a haystack and stop his bloody rampage.

At some level this is supposed to be a remake of 1984's Silent Night, Deadly Night, but other than the title and a single repeated kill, this is completely unrelated. A greater decision never made, since the first one was so bogged down in exposition that by the time he suited up and got down and dirty, who gave a fuck anymore? This one jumps right into things and doesn't let up for a second. We don't know who this killer Santa is until the final moments, and to be honest, I'm pretty sure the revelation did more harm than good. Sometimes less is more, and the big back story was so convoluted that I much rather would have preferred them leave it at "just because". He didn't need a reason; watching this dude running around leaving a bloody trail behind him was beautiful. Every kill was gruesome as hell and his Santa mask was actually pretty damned creepy.

One of the things that I liked most about this was how well it worked simply as a slasher. Nine times out of ten, the novelty of a killer Chris Kringle aims the movie in a decidedly comedy factor. Silent Night isn't having any of that bullshit. Other than Malcom McDowell's overacting, there's nothing to laugh at here. It's extremely refreshing that they didn't let the Santa thing dictate the movie's tone. This is just a straight-forward slasher; you put him in a jumpsuit and a hockey mask, set the flick during the summer and the movie would pretty much run identically. In a way, this actually makes the Santa suit much more effective, since it doesn't dilute the juxtaposition of this cheerful character and his murderous mayhem.

For the most part, the two people carrying this movie was Jamie King and Malcom McDonald. King handled her role quite nicely, handling a rookie that's not only trying to battle this killer but her own self-doubt. I'm not saying she should have won an Oscar or anything, but it was a bit more in depth than you'd expect from a movie like this. As mentioned before, McDonald brings overacting to an art form as Sheriff Cooper. Not that it's not a bad thing per se, since that was probably the best way to go about things considering some of the lines he was handed. Also, Donal Logue gets bonus points as a piece-of-shit traveling Santa that's set up shop for the holiday. He absolutely made every scene he was in.

So yeah, I absolutely loved Silent Night. If you're looking for a brutal Christmas slasher and don't want any of that comedy nonsense, here's your answer. 9/10.
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