In 1984 a controversial movie released and ultimately became a cult classic, Silent Night, Deadly Night. The public did not appreciate a movie that played on the darker, mean-spirited side of our beloved holiday. The re-envisioning of this movie is a gory 90 minute break from your holiday baking.
We open in a snowy everyday suburban city. A man in mask/beard and Santa suit has begun killing members of his “Naughty List”. Local officer Aubrey Bradimore (Jamie King) investigates the murders as her somewhat annoying boss Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell) swears to bring this psycho down.
I was and still am a sucker for great B movie horror. So a remake of this story was right up my alley. You can see the budget is not the highest but the team does a great job with what they have. Kills are very creative and utilize holiday items. Have you ever wondered what a “death penalty-like” kill would be using Christmas lights? Look no further because your questions will be answered.
There is something satisfying about watching bad people being punished ruthlessly. Ever wanted to shut that screaming mean lil’ girl up in the store? How about punishing perverted men of the cloth in their own house? This and many other creative punishments will have some cringing, while others will be giggling with glee. I loved seeing more practical effects versus the usual CGI explosion that B horror movies have become.
I would also like to complement the team on showing kills and avoiding the “Quick Cut” camera work that has become so popular in horror. You will see the killing, and love it.
The acting here is not all that bad but it could be a lot better. Malcolm McDowell is a genre classic and for good reason. He has done a great job filling out roles over the years. In this case as Sheriff Cooper he just seems forced. It is as if he was trying to add all of the comedy in his single role. Being a huge fan of MM it really bugged me how little he shined.
For me, the cheesy B movie feel is more than welcome. Fans of a more serious Saw like tone may be put off. If you need killing that makes sense and seems ultra believable, look elsewhere. As with most horror movies, you will need your “suspension of disbelief” hat firmly placed on your head. Some of the kills completed would require a lot more power than one man can provide. Anyone familiar with a wood chipper will know what I mean.
If you love the holidays and solid B movie gore this is a must under your tree. By no means will this dethrone any of the 2012 Bests, but it is definitely worth a look. This movie should easily become a cult classic equal to the original that pissed people off in the 80’s.
Chug a Beer: anytime Malcolm McDowell makes you roll your eyes through cliched/stupid dialog.
Do a Shot: every time a kill method seems interesting or different.
Sip a Mixer: if someone says Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.