The Bottom Line
- Good production value
- Good cast
- Well-done, plentiful gore
- Unlikable characters
- Shallow, poorly delineated plot
- Starring Jaime King, Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong, Brendan Fehr, Lisa Marie, Courtney-Jane White, Mike O'Brien, Aaron Hughes, Erik J. Berg, John B. Lowe
- Directed by Steven C. Miller
- Rated R
- DVD Release Date: December 4, 2012
Guide Review - 'Silent Night' DVD Review
Silent Night is a loose remake of the controversial 1984 slasher Silent Night, Deadly Night whose only real similarity (besides a couple of scenes recreated from the original film, one particularly forced and out of place) is the premise of a guy dressed as Santa who kills those he deems naughty. Whereas the first movie traced the killer's backstory from the start of the film, the remake is more of a whodunit that conceals the killer's identity and motivation until the very end. This approach removes the sympathetic angle of the original that painted the psycho as something of a tragic antihero, coloring his delivery of "just desserts" to his sinful victims with a sense of demented fun. In Silent Night, however, both killer and victims are repulsive -- as is, frankly, everyone in this mean-spirited town --making for a bleak, sullen viewing experience.
The citizens of Cryer are so cartoonishly vile, you have to think there was some sort of parody intended, but the script is so lazily written and devoid of anything approaching genuine humor, it's hard to tell what the tone is supposed to be. The plot is just one tired cliché after another (the burned out cop who has to regain her confidence, the mayor/police chief who doesn't want to disturb a tourist event by alerting people of a potential threat, the hero who has an unfounded "feeling" that the presumed culprit isn't the one, the killer who dispatches everyone with ease all movie long but at the climax inexplicably treats the hero with kid gloves), and the backstory of both villain and heroine feel like afterthoughts. It's full of broad characters spouting dumb, stilted dialogue, and there's never a good explanation as to how the killer "knows" who's good and who's bad.
Thankfully, there are a few saving graces that make Silent Night bearable. First, the cast is strong -- led by resident horror remake queen Jaime King (Mother's Day, My Bloody Valentine) -- although talent like Malcolm McDowell and Donal Logue feel misused by hampering them with such grating characters. Second, the gore is plentiful and done with a refreshing non-CGI nod to the splattery makeup effects of '80s slashers. Director Steven C. Miller (Automaton Transfusion , Scream of the Banshee) takes advantage of this by delivering an attractively shot final product that appears to have a much higher production value than the average direct-to-video fare. Still, Silent Night ends up being yet another horror remake that fails to live up to the original.
Special features include a featurette and deleted scenes.