Our friends out at Anchor Bay sent out a little slice of pre-Christmas fun for us to review in the form of “Silent Night”, and for those who like the thought of Santa Claus as a crazed killer, congratulations, tiger, you’ve just hit the jackpot.
“Silent Night” rejoins us with the murderous Santa Claus from the original “Silent Night, Deadly Night”, who is still game for a whole lot of pre-Christmas killing. He’s wound up in a sleepy little town in the Midwest, and he’s still practicing his unusual brand of justice. Instead of presents, he’s giving life, and instead of coal, well, he’s just pulling the plug on the whole existence concept. The town, meanwhile, is gearing up for its annual parade, and the sheriff and his family are about to be the top of our killer Santa’s naughty list.
Oddly, “Silent Night” has much the same feel as the earlier holiday release “My Bloody Valentine”. There’s a nice slow build of dread her just ahead of the primary rampage. Malcolm McDowell is back in fine form as the heavy of sorts, and in general, the movie does a nice job of putting out some nice red herrings in terms of just who the murderous Santa is, and throws in a pretty nice twist at the end, to boot. Special note: keep an eye out for Santa’s customized brass knuckles. The key point here is that this is a pretty sharp bit of Christmas horror, which actually has a lot more entries in the class than you might think. Sure, they’re not going to do anything particularly fancy with this one, but what they do will be reasonably well done, and put up something that’s been in comparatively short supply of late: a high-end slasher film.
As for special features, there will be a goodish number in this one, including your choice of Spanish or English subtitles, a set of deleted scenes and a behind the scenes featurette describing some of the work that went into this. There will be a collection of trailers before the menu arrives, however they don’t seem accessible from the DVD menu proper, a development I’ve never much cared for.
“Silent Night” isn’t going to break a lot of new ground. While it defies classification fairly rapidly–is it a sequel? A reboot?–it also puts on a reasonably good show. That’s good enough for virtually any movie, especially one that has such a past to it as the “Silent Night Deadly Night” series. While that particular series got plenty weird toward the end, this one is straightforward enough for anyone’s taste, perhaps a bit too much so. Still though, as pedestrian fare goes, it’s reasonably sound, just don’t look for any fancy tricks thrown in.