Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Deathmas: Silent Night (2012)

Did anyone really ask for this?  Today's films is Silent Night, a Remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night.  For what it's worth, the original is a good movie.  It's still a Slasher film and is full of the cliches of the Genre, but it's smarter than it's given credit for.  So, when I found out that there was a Remake, I was...suspicious.  When I found out that Malcolm McDowell was in it, I was really suspicious.  The result: not good.  The whole spirit of the original is gone and we just get a nameless, faceless killer.  So what is the plot?  A man dressed like Santa kills people in a small town for no clear reason.  That's basically the film, save for when they finally get around to explaining his the last two minutes.  This, of course, makes you question everything in the film, but not in that Sixth Sense kind of way.  I won't SPOIL that reveal for those who really want to be surprised, but I will say this: prepare for disappointment.  That's actually a good summary for the film as well.  To find out why I disliked it so much, read on...
A mysterious man in a Santa suit- complete with plastic mask- has invaded a small town and begins to kill people for their supposed sins.  How he knows their sins is anyone's guess.

Seriously, if you watch the whole film, you'll really question this in the end!
As HIS luck would have it, it's Christmas time and the town has an Annual Santa Parade.  This, of course, means that people walk around ALL DAY in the outfits.  No, really.
In one of two scenes that come from the original, we get the 'Grandpa wakes up to freak out a guy' scene.

The problem(s): it happens to an adult, it has no consequences and does not build up our killer.  Why did you pick this moment to include, while you excised so many others?!?
Instead of playing Dr. Loomis, McDowell plays Sheriff...Sheriff.  It's a Mario thing.

Aside from a few jokes, even he seems to dislike him being in this movie.  "One more house payment..."
Since this is a 'modern' horror film, we have very bloody kills that border on being silly.  This is a problem, since they stop short of their actual point here.
In one of the few compliments I'll give this film, Jaime King (who otherwise sucks here) does some good Acting in one dramatic scene.  Sorry, other 88 minutes of the film!
In the other scene they take from the original, this lady gets killed by being stabbed on some deer horns.  Yea.

To ruin any joy, the killer Santa throws an axe...that just manages to cut her Achilles Tendon.  That was either really impressive or really coincidental!
I will SPOIL this one moment for you- since it deserves it.  McDowell is confronted by the killer and his flamethrower.  He says 'You made one mistake- you brought a flamethrower to a gun fight.'

Naturally, he doesn't shoot and gets killed by the flamethrower.  Of course- you freaking moron!  You DID NOT FIRE YOUR GUN!!!!
I won't SPOIL the Ending if you really care, but I will mention that the Police Station has Red and Green Backup Lights.  Silly.  The End.
I sure hope that the Remake of this review is funnier.  In all seriousness, this is not a terrible film.  There are enough well thought-out moments that salvage it.  The problem is that there are a ton of stupid moments that drag it down.  The idea of silent killer is okay- it just fails in comparison to the one in the original two films.  Yes, the guy in the crappy third film- which I own on VHS- doesn't talk, which I guess was an odd bit of foreshadowing.  The theme of killing the guilty is a good one.  The problems are two-fold.  One- his way of knowing about their 'sins' is ridiculous and not thought out.  Second- the scale of their 'sins' is dubious.  Dirty priest- sure.  Lady and man who take photos of a model- not so much.  Seriously, if you wanted to be dark, there's all sorts of things that you could have implied that they were doing.  You want to be dark and twisted- show them bringing a sheep out before the killer shows up.  It would be kind of funny, but it would be better than 'photographing a topless woman means that you die.'  Furthermore, they don't build up him seeing them in the act- he just shows up as its happening.  If you want to build suspense, show scenes of people doing bad things and show that they're being watched.  When the killer show up, he has his motivations.  In one case, there's an over-the-top bitch of a girl that he kills...since he just happens to show up at the door when she did her 'sin.'  If you're going to pull that crap, just say that he's killing 'sinners' and is crazy for doing so.  He's either the most lucky killer of all time or in a shit film.  Don't.  do.  that.  Did I just write a better film?  Oh and without SPOILING anything, the most important kill of the film happens off-camera.  The worst sin of all- they outdo the lens flare by just flat-out shining a light in my face.  What a dick of a film!
Up next, do you like Die Hard?  Well, here's a TV movie rip-off starring Dean Cain that's not Firetrap.  Stay tuned...


  1. Nice to see that you "enjoyed" it about as much as me :)

    It's an unnecessary and pointless reboot, made by a guy who has no idea how to shoot a proper movie. I've seen all of Miller's flicks and they all suck, even the highly acclaimed Aggression Scale.

  2. This scrappy little remake is somehow more entertaining than half of what passes for "wide release" horror movies.