Silent Night, Deadly Night

Critics Consensus

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35%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 20

39%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,768

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Movie Info

An orphan raised by nuns (Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick) grows up to be a killer toy-store Santa Claus.

Cast & Crew

Lilyan Chauvin
Mother Superior
Gilmer McCormick
Sister Margaret
Paul Caimi
Writer (Story)
Michael Hickey
Screenwriter
Scott Schneid
Executive Producer
Dennis Whitehead
Executive Producer
Perry Botkin Jr.
Original Music
Henning Schellerup
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Silent Night, Deadly Night

Critic Reviews for Silent Night, Deadly Night

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (13)

  • We're not knocking the transformation of a hallowed holiday figure into a homicidal maniac...it's the pleasure Billy and the movie take in leering at, then dicing up young women that lands Charles E. Sellier Jr.'s sicko Santa on our worst list.

    November 29, 2018 | Full Review…
  • "Silent Night, Deadly Night" takes off from the notion that Santa Claus is an ax murderer, but it never quite lives up to the delicious perversity of its premise.

    January 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It's not high art, but it's a surprisingly memorable slasher.

    September 7, 2020 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…
  • The whole look of it has now become haunting, it's so exquisitely evocative of an early '80s childhood. The toyshop scenes are perfect, a fantasia of Smurfs.

    December 18, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Honestly, if you're a horror fan, Silent Night, Deadly Night should be an essential part of your Christmas rotation.

    October 24, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Witless even by slasher-film standards.

    December 29, 2018 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Silent Night, Deadly Night

  • Oct 07, 2017
    Mostly notorious for its box-art cover of Saint Nick crawling down a chimney with an instrument of death, Silent Night, Deadly Night is another holiday-themed body-count which dispels yuletide spirit with an olive-black streak. When the catatonic grandfather breaks his speechless spell and tearfully raves about not being "naughty" or Santa will sow his wrath, it's sincerely spine-tingling when he snaps back into a comatose state (and it could be a figment of Billy's fractured psyche). Shortly afterwards, the film vaults headlong into tasteless terrain with a Santa Claus robber massacring Billy's family and raping his mother. Quite the yuletide ides of March. Then years later, Billy draws a macabre depiction of a decapitated reindeer and the Mother Superior at the orphanage doesn't correlate it with the trauma from before. As a drive-in movie, the breast quotient is present as is the mutilating slayings but what a film of this nature stipulates is a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor along the Neil LaBute wavelength. Instead the film is solemnly grotesque in its Flowers in the Attic-like child abuse in the guise of corporal punishment (Billy is cinctured to his bed with bed sheets after a ghastly nightmare). A montage to Morgan Ames' "The Warm Side of the Door" is the most pleasurable segment of the movie because it nostalgically harkens back to 80's sitcoms and don't contain a frame of untoward behavior. "By the time this party's over, you'll think you are Santy Claus" would be a hilariously prescient one-liner if the direction wasn't so boorish.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Dec 26, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2012
    Considering that there have been far worst films since its release in 1984. I understand why this film may have gotten such flack, but this isn't the only Christmas themed horror film. Black Christmas came out in 1974, and although it didn't include a killer Santa, it still had a killer killing people during the Christmas period. Personally I don't see what all the fuss is about. There are far more violent films out there in the genre and they're lauded and acclaimed as reinventing the genre. As a whole, Silent Night, Deadly Night is no different than any other Slasher film. Aside from the Christmas theme, there's nothing truly different. This is a fun cheesy good time where you see an evil Santa kill off people. I always hated Santa Claus, so using his costume for the killer didn't offend me. Like I said, I understand why the film got vilified, but if you think about it very carefully, it's a pretty silly premise for a Slasher film, and it's not one to take seriously whatsoever. This will surely appeal to fans of the genre, and along with Black Christmas remains a classic of the genre. This film is also a reminder that mainstream critics should take a chill pill and realize that these films aren't meant for them. By today's standards it's hard to believe that this was ever controversial. Considering the Saw franchise and Hostel trilogy, Silent Night, Deadly Night is a fairly tame film.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2011
    Make no mistake, you sissy, because this hidden cult Christmas garbage is absolutely delightful and unintentionally hilarious. It has everything an R-rated movie demands (actually, do yourself a favor and hunt down the uncut 85-minute version), and even if this wasn't enough, it has GOOD cinematography! Now fancy that! Gotta love the 80s for their macabre, cheap vibe! 74/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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