Silent Night, 2012 (Dir: Steven C. Miller)
In 1984, the slasher classic Silent Night, Deadly Night stunned audiences, was banned across America and remains the most notorious Christmas movie in history. Does it though?
I’ve noticed that, no matter how many horror films I’ve seen, I go into them all with a sense of anticipation; a sense of expectation that it will be good. I do this every time, for every film and Silent Night was no different.
So, apparently, this movie follows (I think sequel may be too grand a title to use) on from the 1984 ‘classic’ with the same slasher path of random kills, and the first victim is electrocuted with Christmas lights, which is a timely warning as I was going to put up my tree today 🙂
We get some character backstory – ‘It’s my first Christmas without John’ – and a lot of men in the movie look like Santa (it’s a thing the town does on Christmas Eve), and that’s tricky because if one of the Santas happen to show up at your door, you don’t know what kind you’re going to get: naughty or nice.
The movie generally feels like a smash-up between Saw and Generic 1980s Horror Film; Santa is all about retribution for perceived ills whilst ironically missing the whole murder-jag he is on, and the rest of the movie covers the religious, family loss, creepy colleagues and loving families themes along the way.
All of which would be fine, but it’s just a bit obvious; the script really doesn’t attempt to be different and the characters are content to be the same as in every other movie. The saving grace of this movie is that it looks different – there a rich quality to the camera work and the lighting gives it promise. And, every so often, there’s a flash of suspense, even if it’s not outright terror.
But, at least it’s not all set at night – this movie has daylight for a significant part of the action (including the unnecessarily half-naked woman running through the town – the glamour shoot was simply a ploy to get some tits on screen). ‘I’ll catch this maniac and he’ll pay for what he did’ This is a legacy movie in that daughter does what dad did before; it has good actors working with ham and cheese material, and sometimes it almost makes it work.
There are so many things wrong with it but a certain something glimmers through, like the last piece of tinsel that glints in the carpet until Easter. If I only had to watch one Christmas horror film, it would be this one. Not because it’s particularly good, but because it’s not half-bad 🙂