Silent Night Reviews
The only interesting thing about this non-remake is the fact that it's characters are all named after former players of Leeds United soccer team. I don't think Johnny Giles would approve.
Unlike most remakes these days, the new Silent Night film is very much its own animal. It inverts the structure of the original, swapping out the protagonist-killer for a more traditional tale about cops tracking a costumed psycho on a major holiday. You'd think that would make the film a lot more bland and boring-- after all, the unique perspective of the story was one of the most creative elements of Silent Night, Deadly Night-- but director Steven C. Miller manages to bring a wonderfully retro flavor to the film, milking every single cliche for all its worth. (more to come)
"Don't put the avacado on the burger."-Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell)
When santa isn't going to town with brass knucks, a pick axe, or wood chipper, Malcolm is putting the avacado in the movie.
"Oh, big mistake, taking a flamethrower to a gun fight."-Sheriff Cooper
"Silent Night" is an instant classic for fans of the Holiday horror genre and can stand alone from the original film in which it takes inspiration from. This isn't a direct remake, in fact in only minimally gives subtle hints to the original movie while creating a completely independent film that is just as dark and sinister. It is also very entertaining, filled with an atmospheric despair and solemnity on what should be a lighthearted, joyful night. The story is filled with tragic characters on a clear path to self-destruction which adds to the fact that horrors are unfolding in this small town that go far beyond your basic killer on the loose. After all Santa slays the naughty and there is no better place to find naughty souls than a town filled with despair. There are times when the action seems a bit rushed when it comes to scenes with the actual killer at work that is probably intentional because it also creates an element of unease and question surrounding the goings-on within the town.
"Silent Night" creates a dark and intense story that doesn't rely on black comedy to beg for acceptance from the audience. Instead of taking a tongue-in-cheek approach Miller has brought forth a very somber thriller that is suspenseful and serious. Something a lot of horror films shy from when it comes to slashers. The closest the film comes to comic relief is in Malcolm McDowell's character who maintains a sterile, focused, Chuck Norris styled attitude about policing his town. The character is closer to the one he played in Rob Zombie's "Halloween". The blood and gore in this film isn't over-the-top but Miller never shies away from the graphic kills or gory matter either. Everything about "Silent Night" is balanced and toned in a way that allows the story to draw you into the nightmare that plays out. There are a few scary moments where the element of surprise caught me off guard. I jumped back in my seat during a few scenes. This is a great slasher film that should not be considered a remake and should be an instant classic with the majority of horror fans.
The ridiculously grimy and disgusting outlook of the movie screams "over-stylized remake!" and it really doesn't do anything original that would separate it from all the other unnecessary slasher remakes.
Although, a little entertainment is sure to be squeezed out of Malcolm McDowell, his overacting pales to Eric Freeman's by comparison, but he's still worth having in the film. Another performance, that I found rather strange, was the portrayal of a spoiled brat. Honestly, this girl was a certified supervillain-in-the-making, and you can probably guess where she ended up.
But unlike in the original, rather than going on an insane rampage in a fit of psychosis, Santa's Sleigh doesn't get completely out-of-hand as the motivations of the killer Santa are much more consistent, and this I liked. He never betrayed his naughty-list once.
The film also shows a brand of humor! Imagine that. It's not too much in your face, which makes it a lot funnier. In my opinion, it should have gone further with this style, because, as I already stated, it doesn't differ greatly from any other over-stylized remake.
This movie sure as hell is not scary, or very engaging, but if you like gory-less-story slasher remakes, this one is, in my opinion, one of the best ones around.