Silent Night (2012) – Review

2 Stars

Small-town sheriff’s deputy Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King) is called in on Christmas Eve. What she thinks will be a normal night soon turns to terror as a man in a Santa outfit begins murdering the townspeople. With the streets full of Santa’s for the town’s Christmas parade this will be one serial killer that’s hard to spot. Now it’s up to the three crew sheriff’s department lead by Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell) and their gossiping assistant Brenda (Ellen Wong) to find the mad man and stop the holiday massacre.

Silent Night is the unnecessary remake of 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night. This version has as much point as the last, a man in a Santa suit committing murder. It’s all shock and no value. The plot is completely absent, and for the most part we aren’t even sure if the people being killed actually deserve it. The film tries to justify the Santa killer by painting his victims in a stereotypical light- a 14 year old girl who bad mouths her mother, a pornographer, a kid who steals from his comatose grandfather. Do these people really deserve to die? Probably not. In fact some targets don’t seem to follow any rules, until the killer is revealed in the end.

One of the reasons this film fails where other horror movies don’t is the back-story. Jason, Freddy and Michael Myers’ back-story is told right up front and interwoven into the storyline of the film. Here we have a man in a Santa suit slashing away for reason’s that are any-one’s best guess. That is until the end when all is told. It’s a solid case of too little too late. The original handles this much better.

The film-making is good enough with no issues of framing or lighting. Unfortunately it’s a little too good, loosing all the charm of the original’s low budget shoot. The clear problem here is the script. This is Anchor Bay still trying to be relevant in the high end horror genre by choosing a semi-cult classic to redo. There really isn’t anything special about the original, other than the shock value of a killer Santa which is completely lost 28 years later.

The acting is great, Jaime King is lovely as always and I can’t say anything bad about the performances as I believe the actors gave what they were asked. I will say that Malcolm McDowell’s Sheriff Cooper is written like an imbecile and he comes off a tad too comical.

In the end Silent Night isn’t worth watching for any reason. I’d check out the original Silent Night, Deadly Night if you haven’t seen it, although its only worth is historical in the exploitation genre.

Director: Steven C. Miller
Stars: Jaime King, Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong, Brendan Fehr

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