Director:Steven C. Miller
Cast:Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Jamie Kennedy, Brendan Fehr, Lisa Marie, Ellen Wong, Cortney Palm
Christmas sure is a great time to be a horror fan, don’t you think? I mean, for every White Christmas, we have a Black Christmas. For every Elf, we have a Gremlins. And just because evil Santa has made a comeback over the past year with flicks like Rare Exports and Sint, doesn’t mean there’s not always room for one more! Steven C. Miller’s sort of remake of the much ravaged by critics, but cherished by fans, Silent Night, Deadly Night may not offer anything particularly new or ground-breaking to the genre, but provides enough slasher mayhem to make it a worthwhile effort.
Anyone familiar with Silent Night, Deadly Night knows the story of poor little Billy who witnessed his parents’ demise at the hands of a gun wielding, rapey Santa Claus, only to go on his own killing spree years later, knocking off anyone he deemed naughty. It was a mean, trashy little movie that had a ball with gratuitous nudity (thanks Ms. Quigley!) and violent deaths at the hands of good ol’ St. Nick and we totally loved it for that. Silent Night trades in overzealous nuns and back room, workplace forced fornications for a tale about a small town deputy (Jamie King, who seems to be making quite the bid for the title of 80s holiday slasher remake queen) as she races through a slew of red herrings to track down a maniacal Santa Claus as he slaughters through the naughty citizens of the small, Midwestern town of Cryer.
Though the story has drastically changed, the filmmakers wisely keep the dark humored, mean spirited tone of the original that has made it one of the ultimate go-to films of the holiday season, albeit in a more standard, paint by numbers structure. There are no real surprises in the narrative and its biggest fault is that it’s structured like a who-done-it despite the fact that it isn’t. Well, it kind of isn’t. Keeping spoilers to a minimum, it would have been much more beneficial to the film as a whole if they spent less time establishing useless red herrings, or just made the killer reveal more of a payoff instead a last minute throwaway. It doesn’t come completely out of left field, but it does feel like a cheat.
The acting is above par for something of this ilk. Jamie King easily holds our attention and Malcolm McDowell, as the town’s brass balled sheriff, steals every scene he’s in as he chews away at that scenery. The supporting cast is made up of a lot of recognizable talent, but unfortunately none of them really have that much to do. Donal Logue makes the best of his too short screen time, as does Ellen Wong, and hough her character definitely serves her purpose, I couldn’t help but wish Lisa Marie had a larger role just because it’s not that often that we get to see her on screen these days.
The real stars of this show, however, are the creative deaths assisted by some great FX work. Fans of the original will love seeing the antler death scene making an appearance, and Fargo may have some competition when it comes to great use of a wood chipper. My only other complaint, and one of the reasons why I’m hesitant to give it a higher score, is that is doesn’t exactly “feel” like Christmas. The fact that it was filmed during the spring is more than evident during a couple scenes, especially during a chase through a Christmas tree lot that looked rather warm and pleasant. I know the production didn’t exactly have a huge budget to blanket everything in snow, but I couldn’t help feel like I was taken out of the movie during these parts.
Silent Night won’t exactly win over any slasher film naysayers, but it accomplishes what it set out to do and should please the target audience. If you like your slashers sleazy, mean, sometimes illogical and, most importantly, fun, then you’re who this film is made for. Also, be on the look out for a little Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 reference. And oh yeah…”Fuck church!”
|Posted on December 13, 2012 - 5:46pm | Johnny D|