As you probably have heard by now, Silent Night is a loose remake of the cult-classic film Silent Night, Deadly Night, which I consider one of the all-around most fun 80’s horror-slasher films, ever. I honestly was not expecting very much from this, except for maybe a good moment or two. I’ve been surprised at just how much attention this little film has received and the number of people that have given it such ravingly-good reviews.
A small-town sheriff and his deputy – which he rudely forced into action on Christmas Eve, even though she is still a freshly-grieving widow – are on the hunt for a deranged killer dressed as Santa Claus. Problem is, there are a ton of Santas roaming the streets, causing even more complications for this awkward police team attempting to save their town from this madman.
In a year that has seen it’s fair share of shitty horror films (hello, The Tall Man and The Apparition), Silent Night is a refreshing reminder of why I love this particular sub-genre so much. It’s fun, mean, to the point and vicious – and doesn’t cop-out when a lot of other flicks like this would wimp out on the gore and violence.
I’m glad that this wasn’t a scene-by-scene remake of the original film, but it was enjoyable to see that they tried keeping with at least two memorable scenes from it: one of them being the Granpa scene, which unfortunately, lacked any impact the original Granpa had. This one is mainly forgettable, unlike in the original where it is perhaps one of the very best scenes anyone who’s watched the film will never forget. The other scene which I’m glad they tried to re-enact from the original, is the kill-with-the-antlers scene – although the character killed in that scene does not quite deliver the campy performance of Linnea Quigley in the original.
Needless to say, the Killer Santa in this one is one bad mofo. It was like watching the best of Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers mixed in a blender, with the resulting concoction being this kick-ass evil Santa. Great job by Canadian actor Donald Longe in his role as Santa.
There are some bloody entertaining, inventive and ruthless kills in Silent Night. As I mentioned off the top, this film doesn’t compromise or pussy-out on the carnage. There wasn’t as much in the way of sex or t ‘n a as I might have guessed there would be, but the gore and violence is top-notch stuff. One unforgettable sequence in particular involves a topless soft-porn actress and a wood-chipper machine, is one that anyone who watches this flick will never forget. A lot of the red stuff in that scene.
One annoying aspect of this film for me was the performance of Malcolm McDowell. Will someone please write a good role for this man already? I felt his character was pathetic. I understand the humor and idiocy they were going for with this character, but damn…so fucking annoying and shitty. Between this role and his weak-ass portrayal of Dr. Sam Loomis in Rob Zombie’s Halloween remakes, Malcolm needs a damn life-line. That – or refuse anymore stupid roles like this. The rest of the cast was fine.
Anyway…Silent Night is absolutely worth a watch, and repeated viewings afterwards. I can easily see this one becoming an annual tradition to watch around this time of year – along with Silent Night Deadly Night and Christmas Evil. There is nothing ground-breaking to find here, but a lot of enjoyment is to be had for fans of old-school slashers and connoisseurs of non-compromising horror flicks. The message is clear in this one: if you’ve been naughty…you’re fucked.