Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the selections on DVD and Blu-Ray are so delightful.
In this remake of the 1984 horror classic Silent Night, a new generation is on the lookout for Santa and his bag of tricks as a small Midwestern town prepares for its annual Christmas Eve parade and Santa competition when the Sheriff (Malcolm McDowell) and one of his deputies (Jaime King) discover that there is a homicidal maniac running around town in a Santa suit killing those he deems to be “naughty”. With their sins ranging from porn, greed, adultery and many others, this St. Nick will make sure that they rest in heavenly pieces alongside their lump of coal in what is a brutally dark, yet funny, Christmas tale.
Saying that one needs to keep their expectations low is a fairly big understatement going into a film like this, but this new Silent Night actually delivers a fun slasher flick that only uses the gore in the appropriate amounts. Director Steven C. Miller, who also brought us The Aggression Scale earlier this year, crafted a tight and effective horror-thriller by leaning on some simple principles that maximizes the fun. Everyone involved knew the kind of film that they were putting together and with some remarkable use of lighting and shadows, along with a fantastic musical score, the filmmaker succeeds where many before him have failed. A good slasher film doesn’t have to be about copious amounts of gore, but the kills do have to be well timed and innovative along with a balance of moments where we can laugh and relieve the tension. This film does that in spades along with an ensemble cast that plays along and buys into the irreverent fun that this brand of horror can bring.
McDowell’s grizzled, small town sheriff probably got some of the best scene-chewing moments in the film playing it to the absolute hilt as he got to deliver some deadpan comic relief throughout the entire film. King fits in nicely as the iconic female horror heroine and does a solid job as the hesitant cop who morphs into small town ass-kicker. Her character’s journey in the film is probably the most grounded, but it works well. The rest of the ensemble features a couple of familiar faces, including Ellen Wong, Brendan Fehr and Donal Logue as an acerbic, cranky, and hilarious Santa Claus warning little kids about the greed and mass consumerism tendencies of their parents. With everyone working in concert we are treated to a fun horror experience.
Horror films like Silent Night always have such a subjective audience, but this very slick and stylish remake reminds fans of the genre of a time that has passed us by. One when it wasn’t about the torture porn aspects of seeing the pain and suffering of the characters, but more about the framing of the shot and creating a creepy mood with all of the elements of filmmaking working together as one. It’s a forgotten art and Silent Night just does the simple things exceptionally well, making for a fun ‘slash’-tastic way to spend this holiday season.
The picture and sound quality on the Blu-ray is top notch, as per the norm. Special features on the DVD/Blu-ray combo pack include a brief behind the scenes look at the making of the film and some deleted scenes.
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King
Directed by: Steven C. Miller