Before I start the column, I just want to take a moment to say that nothing will ever make sense of the tragedy of the children who had their lives either horrifically changed forever or those who no longer have their live. My heart goes out to anyone affected by that event or any other where innocent children (or any loved one) are ripped from this world so tragically.
The Film: Silent Night (2012)
The Principles: Steven C. Miller (director), Jaime King, Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue
The Premise: More of a thematic tribute to the 1984 cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night, but for some reason it just isn’t as bad as the original. That’s a good thing.
Is It Good: I mentioned last week that I was committed to this film no matter what. When it comes to this column I normally try to choose movies I have seen or films I happen to really like as I watch them. Imagine my surprise when this film was good enough that I probably would have chose to write about it anyway.
Steven C. Miller is quickly establishing himself as the real deal. I have only seen The Aggression Scale and now this, but I may start seeking out other titles from his library. I wrote about the prior one because it took me off guard as a fun and incredibly tense action/thriller that intersected in the world of horror but never fully embraced it. He doesn’t have that shyness in Silent Night. This is a full fledged slasher with blood and jumps scenes bursting at the seams.
To make it even better, there is a multitude of sleazy characters in this film that really make you root for Santa to slay them. I cannot say how much this film seems like a great sequel rather than an origin film. We have thieves, sluts, porn directors, drug dealers, adulterers, closet smokers and bad santas all begging not to get their presents.
Jamie King shines as the leading lady, a deputy who is getting over a tragedy that is never truly explained. She doesn’t do a lot right at times, but she knows it and shows it in a couple of key scenes that define her character. There is a part of me that hopes she can use this to springboard into some more starring roles, but given how many large films she has been in I really don’t know if this misleading gem will do so for her.
Malcolm McDowell walks a very thin line most of the film, balancing between annoying and funny, but unlike a lot of his more current performances his effort make the character work. I don’t know how his character could have truly functioned as a sheriff in a small town, but the complete disrepect he gets from King makes you believe she believes in him as much as believing in a true Santa Claus. At the end he shared the top billing with King, and even though it was her story, his 80’s hero wannabe chewed up every scene he was in and earns the parallel credit.
I haven’t watched Terriers, but I have often heard good things about it and it’s lead Donal Logue. Here he comes across as too over the top to care for, but he was one of the only characters that truly did not work. The other deputy had all the humor that Logue was supposed to bring.
I also have to commend the choice of filming a chase/dismemberment scene during a snow filled daylight, complete with “Christmas” trees. Not only do I commend the braveness of trying to make daytime horror work, but also the perservance the actress had for her to have filmed the scene multiple times half naked.
Is It Worth A Look: Not if you judge a book by it’s cover. Honestly the trailers looked like shit. I agree with Tim Kelly who said he thought he film looked like something he would pickup in a gas station. It appears to have a production value of The Room. In all reality, once you get by the bad mask enhanced, makeup smothered Santa face you are left with an extremely fun slasher.
I was never a big fan of the original film this was based off of. Let alone the poor quality of acting it had, the story tried so hard to be shocking that it never came anywhere near it’s goal. The 2012 Santa was very similar to the Jason Vorhees seen in the 2009 Friday the 13th remake. Big, fast, strong and emotionless. The remake takes very little time to establish the story and it actually gives the audience many pieces to figure out the plot on thier own. In comparison to the original, every person who acted in this film should get an acting award.
Most of the main characters names were derived from the 70s Leeds United football team.
Stephen C. Miller released 3 films in 2012.
Cinematic Soulmates: Rare Exports, Friday the 13th (2009), Silent Night Deadly Night, Silent Night