Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yuletide Classic: Silent Night, Deadly Night

I feel like the last guy at a wedding who has to tell a story about the bride and groom. The other guys have taken all the good stories (how you set them up, their first date, etc) and you have to think of something interesting. 'Hey guys,' I start to say, 'remember that time that you accidentally killed a drifter and tried to hide it from everyone? That was fun, right?" That is the situation that I am in today writing about Silent Night, Deadly Night. You all know the movie, you all know the plot, but I would be remiss without talking about it. It's like talking about The Omen and not mentioning killer monkeys- it just can't, and shouldn't, be done. So, let's take a different approach in my review of...
In case you don't know, the movie is all about Billy, who gets driven crazy by a series of events and begins to kill people while dressed as Santa Claus. Rather than giving you my usual in-depth plot summary, I want to highlight some of the odd moments that stand out to me.

*Why do the people at the grandfather's rest home not notice his condition? They're doctors and nurses, but can't see that he is faking it? Or is the kid supposed to be imagining this?

*Billy's really just unlucky, isn't he? The odds that there is a crazed robber dressed as Santa that night and he crosses his parent's path has to be pretty damn low, doesn't it?

*The idea of letting out the giant mental patient out in the public is just bad to begin with.

*Why does the girl he likes yell at him when he breaks up a rape attempt against her? How about a thanks before you scream at him, lady?!?

*On the scale of the 'sins' done by the citizens, how high can sledding at night against your parent's wishes be?

*Make note of how the younger brother is a baby in the traumatic bits- it's important for when you see Parts II and III.

For a full review of the movie, look elsewhere. I do enough of those to be allowed one exception, don't I? Besides, I think 600 other pages are doing that.
I liked this movie, in spite of all the controversy. As people like The Cinema Snob have pointed out, the movie actually spends a good amount of time building up its villain and explaining his motivations. Compare that to a movie like Halloween, which just says 'he's Michael Meyers, he's crazy and and he kills people- enjoy.' If you are going to compare Silent Night to a normal film, it has some plot holes and very underwritten characters. As far as slasher films go, it actually has a pretty high pedigree. It's not just controversy- it's an actual, decent film.
I know you're probably expecting me to do Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, but I don't feel like it. Instead, I'm going to cover a Christmas slasher film by the co-writer of Night of the Living Dead. It has to be good, right? Stay tuned...


  1. I love this movie, too. In fact, I think it is too good to really write up anything about it. I am afraid I can't do it justice.

    Great review and cool site!


  2. Thanks for the feedback and I appreciate the compliment.

    As I said, the main reason for doing this style of review is that the movie has been covered A LOT. It would be like me doing a full write-up on 'Psycho' or 'Citizen Kane.'

  3. I cant go a year without watching this one, love it to death even if I do get tempted to cut to the killing. Billy is just awesome! "Punish." Never "PUNISH!!!!" Always "Punish."