10th Nov2013

‘Silent Night’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Jaime King, Malcolm McDowell, Brendan Fehr, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong | Written by Jayson Rothwell | Directed by Steven C. Miller


Following on from his original horror flick The Aggression Scale, which was undoubtedly a hit with a lot of horror fans, director Steven C. Miller tackled a quasi-remake of the controversial 1984 killer-Claus film Silent Night, Deadly Night. Why quasi-remake? Well Silent Night takes the basic theme of that film (and by extension that of the classic Tales From the Crypt story “And All Through the House”), along with one or two of it’s most famous set-pieces and crafts an all-new tale of a killer Santa Claus picking off citizens of a small American town on Christmas Eve – and that’s the plot in a nutshell. No more, no less.

Unlikely to inspire the same controversy as the original film, Silent Night is more of a self-aware parody of the slasher genre that knowingly nods at genre cliches yet at the same time relishes in them, throwing copious amounts of gore at the screen – literally in some cases, making the excesses of the ’84 film seem tame by comparison! Central to the film is Jamie King, who seems to be making a name for herself as a modern-day scream-queen what with roles in The Tripper, They Wait and the remakes of My Bloody Valentine, Mother’s Day and this, as Deputy Bradimore, a second-generation cop who hates the holiday season (a cliche in itself) and who questions her ability to do her job, yet must go head-to-head with the deranged Christmas killer.

Starring alongside King is Malcom McDowell as the cliche-spewing, catchphrase-slinging Sheriff who, in his own words, sees this career-making case as “…payback time for those parking violations and stray cats up trees”. McDowell chews up the scenery in one of his most outlandish roles, even managing to make traditional over-actor Donal Logue, as a foul-mouthed Christmas-hating Santa who is a suspect in the killer-Claus case, look virtually normal!

Whilst Silent Night is at heart a redux of an 80′s movie, it’s also more of a throwback – light on story, heavy on gore – to the 80′s and the slasher genre that reigned supreme during that decade, amping up the gore quotient to levels of almost absurdity. If you’re a gore fan you’ll LOVE this movie as it is packed with the red stuff: characters are disemboweled, beheaded, have their heads chopped in half, fingers chopped off, they’re burnt alive, electrocuted and one girl is even put into a wood-chipper… It’s all gloriously absurd but also absurdly fun! As a fan of the original movie, I was initially wary of this remake (as I always am with remakes) but in the hands of director Steven C. Miller Silent Night ends up being a taut, fun and gory film that will please gorehounds and fans of the original alike.

***** 5/5

Silent Night is released on (UK) DVD on November 11th by Koch Media.


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