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Silent Night - Anchor Bay Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Richard Taylor   
Sunday, 20 December 2015
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Directed by: Steven C. Miller
Written by:
Jayson Rothwell
Produced by:
Armen Aghaeian, Micah Gallo, D.J. Gugenheim, Shara Kay, Phyllis Laing, Richard Saperstein, Geno Tazioli, Brian Witten
Cinematography by:
Joseph White
Editing by:
Seth Flaum
Kevin Riepl
Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Rick Skene, Ellen Wong, Andrew Cecon, Courtney-Jane White.
Canada, USA
1h 34min

Studio: The Genre Co., Buffalo Gal Pictures, Ember Productions
Distributor: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Charles E. Selliersí offensive holiday slasher Silent Night, Deadly Night is reinvented by Steven C. Miller in this 2012 offering. Silent Night borrows a few key points from the 1984 film but can't quite capitalize on them. In the original 1984 cult film when Billy and his family visit Grandpa in a classic scene, played by William Hare, ol' gramps spins a terrifying story of Saint Nick to Billy, "You see Santa tonight you better run boy, run for your life!!!" Silent Night attempts the same scene, but cuts the dialogue short and it just isn't nearly effective enough. I'm thinking it was more of a tribute to the original. If youíre a fan of Silent Night, Deadly Night, there are a couple of other nods to the film, plus one particular cool one in relation to the most popular scene in the 1987 sequel Silent Night, Deadly Night part 2 if you notice.
Silent Night, Deadly Night was such a success because it was so cruel, sleazy, tasteless and offensive. When I watch it today, the violence and especially all the children involved in it, watching family members being killed, witnessing killings and children being beaten, I personally find this slaughter of innocence to strike a nerve. Steven C. Millerís remake really can't hold a candle to the cult status or visceral impact that has aged with the original like a fine beer (stout preferably). Director Miller delivers a slightly different storyline with some great black humor, practical gore effects and fast pace. He keeps it entertaining.

Silent Night is said to be inspired as well by the real life events in Covina, California in 2008, when Bruce Jeffery Pardo gunned down and torched his ex-wife and her family on Christmas Eve. He was dressed up in a Santa suit donning a homemade flame thrower. I had never heard of the 'Covina Massacre' before watching Silent Night and the details are very disturbing. The actual real life massacre serves as a back story for the movie, which plays up campy gory deaths, including the re-enactment of Linnea Quigley's (Return of the Living Dead) famous scene, in the original Silent Night, Deadly Night where she met the deer antler.

Yes, Silent Night falls in the shadow of its predecessor, but it does have a devoted following from gore fans and some people actually prefer it over the original, because it does spin a bit of a different story, plus the Santa killer looks bad ass and creepy as hell. There are a lot of cool gory deaths in this one, including a crazy scene where an axe literally disintegrates a head in two, a wood chipper is used in one scene and various appendages are loped off in all its glory gory detail. A killer dressed as Santa is in town and he's out to punish the naughty! 

The cast are so-so. I tried liking Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Caligula, Cat People, Rob Zombies Halloween remake), but his sheriff character is annoying, with familiar trodden territory. Itís a, been there done that generic role. The main actress Jamie King (My Bloody Valentine 3D, Motherís Day remake, Pearl Harbor, Sin City), is also pretty flat and forgettable and had me rooting for the Santa killer throughout. The best character is a bit-role by Donal Logue as 'Santa Jim.' He delivers some great no nonsense, in-your-face dialogue about Christmas, sprinkled with black humor and profanity. 

Silent Night is an entertaining, gory and fast paced Christmas slasher, with some T ní A for good measure. Itís nice to have another holiday horror film to lift from the repertoire to enjoy during Christmas time.





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