Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Silent Night

Might as well get this out of the way right off the bat, Silent Night is about as far from a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night as it could get. The ONLY two things that I noticed the two films share in common are killer Santas, and one line of dialog. So, if you're one of those people who turns their nose up at movies because they're completely unnecessary remakes or reimaginings of classic films from our childhood, rest easy. Plus, if you skip Silent Night for any reason, you're going to miss out on one hell of a good time.

Deputy Aubrey Bradimore gets called in to work on Christmas Eve, which she was supposed to have off, when a co-worker doesn't show up for work. As per usual, when you get called to work on your day off, things tend to have a way of being even worse than usual. In Aubrey's case, worse comes in the form of a maniac dressed up in a Santa suit who is murdering the townsfolk seemingly at random. For a small town on Christmas Eve, finding one specific guy dressed as Santa turns out to be easier said than done, as Santa's are roaming the streets in number. With the help of the Sheriff, who seems to be a bit unstable himself, Aubrey attempts to discover the identity of the slasher Santa, and put a stop to his murder spree before he kills again.

Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. That's what Silent Night is. My first official Christmas present of this holiday season arrived courtesy of director Steven C. Miller. I have to admit, I wasn't completely sold on the movie when I saw his name attached to direct. I thought Automaton Transfusion was decent, but The Aggression Scale didn't do anything for me at all. With Silent Night though, he has completely redeemed himself in my eyes. Aside from a brief portion in the second act that I felt like dragged a bit, I loved almost everything about it. The kills were good, just brutal enough, just gory enough to fit into that fine space between disturbing and hilarious. On in particular had me yelling "OH MY GOD! FUCK YES!!!" at my television. The Santa looked great, and used a decent assortment of tools, weapons, machinery (!), to dispatch his victims. Sadly, only a couple of the kills were holiday themed, but that's forgivable as it could've ended up being really cheesy had they tried to do them all that way. I've seen it before... *cough*JackFrost*cough*

Performance wise, there's only one that anyone should really be talking about. Ok, maybe two if you enjoyed Donal Logue as Santa Jim, the disenchanted asshole Santa who apparently hates Christmas with a passion that even Ebenezer Scrooge would find to be a bit much. Plus, the guy is a Mall Santa or something on top of that. If you hate Christmas that much, get a different job man. Fuck, I'm sure McDonald's is hiring or something. Anyway, the real star of this movie is an "as over the top as he can be" Malcolm McDowell. Say what you will about the man, but his portrayal of Sheriff Cooper was hilariously awesome as far as I'm concerned. He was like watching some sort of perfect storm of Angel and Butterman from Hot Fuzz, all rolled into one. Only played by Malcolm McDowell instead of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The dialog, McDowell's delivery, I loved every single scene he was in.

Silent Night has cemented itself into a permanent spot in my holiday rotation. In fact, I'm so in love with it right now, I'm considering moving my normal Xmas Eve viewing of Santa's Slay up a day, and watching Silent Night on Xmas Eve instead this year. As long as you're just looking for some good old, American holiday Santa slashering fun, Silent Night is guaranteed not to disappoint. If you're looking for more than that, it probably won't do much for you. For those of us who are able to set our brains to "mindless slasher" mode though, this is as much fun as we've been gifted for Christmas in years.


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