Movie Review: ‘Silent Night’

Director: Steven C. Miller

Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong, Lisa Marie, Courtney-Jane White

Plot: The Christmas season is soured in small town Cryer when a serial killer rampages around the town dressed as Santa.

Review: We’ve looked at some very odd Christmas horror movies this past week, and this is the one that’s the most…bland. A remake and attempted revival of the highly controversial Silent Night, Deadly Night slasher series, it feels very much like a slasher movie that came out in the 2000s with some striking visuals but very little heart.

Our main characters are Deputy Bradimore (King) and her superior Sheriff Cooper (McDowell) as they hunt down a killer who has been slashing and hacking their way through the town. A pattern for ‘naughty’ behaviour is quickly identified, with the killer Santa targeting promiscuous women, sleazy men and the like. The script does its best to pave over plot holes, like why they never call in help or lie to the mayor in order to keep the case going. A couple of suspects come to the fore, but we never learn much about any of these potential psychopaths.

This is what holds the movie back the most. There’s no connection between the killer, the victims or the police, we’re following through the investigation. Without having any personal stake, it’s difficult to care much who survives the night or who the killer is going to be. This isn’t helped when it’s revealed that the killer is a character we don’t know with the twist being that he’s the son of a character only seen in flashback with a tenuous link to the characters we know. It makes it feel pointless at a time when they’re trying to set things up for a sequel and no doubt a full franchise.

What makes the movie stand out in the field of schlocky festive horror movies is the striking visuals. With a better budget than most there are some sequences featuring bold colours and grungy shadows. At best it feels like a classic Giallo film, at worst like a Saw sequel. There’s a thread about the true meaning of Christmas, but it is all tell, don’t show. In spite of how nice it looks, it’s a dry and by-the-numbers product of the decade.

Rating: FIVE out of TEN