18 Feb 2013

Review: SILENT NIGHT (2012)

Silent Night, Deadly Night... if you know what I mean.
Christmas, a time of year where cinemas are shrouded with festive family films and the market for horror is low, very low. Never mind cinema, there is never actually a release of a decent horror film around Christmas unless it was some straight-to-DVD trash that not even rotten tomatoes can find. There are many festive horror's but very little Christmas horrors; in fact, the last time I watched a Christmas horror was Black Christmas and let's face it, we would barely even call that a film it's that bad. 

Silent Night (Deadly Night as the remake was called) is a loosely based on the 80's slasher flick Silent Night, Deadly Night, where a small-town sheriff and deputy go on the hunt for a murderous Santa Claus who terrorizes their community on Christmas Eve. What? Sounds stupid you say? Well in a way you're correct but it's really one of those films that sound less ridiculous when you're watching it. Maybe it's the fact that it actually isn't Santa Clause but a psycho dressed as the joyful tub, or it could be that there is as much gore as a Saw sequel, I don't know, but what I can say is that for what it is, it's a pleasant little slasher flick. 


Have I seen better festive slashers? Of course! But did I expect this film to be what it is? Of course not! Before actually watching this my initial thought was that this was going to be another run-on-the-mill slasher that had more naked girls that kills, and I was right, but what Silent Night does that very little slasher films have (especially in this decade) is manage to deliver successful gore, inventive deaths and a nodding humor that all add up to an enjoyable watch. There is no denying the fact that Silent Night has its faults, in fact it has a little too many faults that did manage to degrade the overall experience such as woeful acting which becomes apparent early on as some people have the acting skills of a foot. Another problem for me was a mistake that Rob Zombie made when remaking Halloween, and that's the use of the camera. Trust me, shaking the camera does not make the scene better, it doesn't make it scarier, it doesn't make you feel like you're there, it just looks cheap and ineffective; having a naked girl running as shaking the camera doesn't make that moment more intense, it just makes it annoying to watch. Having said that, the cinematography for the film really brings out the Christmas elements because to be honest, having bright blue skies and dry pavement doesn't really scream out Christmas for me, but having loads of colourful Christmas decorations and even a strong use of green and red really adds to that festive mood. 
Another aspect of the film that I appreciated was its choice of characters and how they come across to the audience. What was strange was that there were very little characters that I wanted to survive, in fact I nearly wanted everyone to die at one stage but the ones that did die deserved it. I found myself chanting for Mr.Clause to hack some characters, and when he did I felt relieved. One scene in particular where this was the case is when Santa enters the church to kill the pedophilic priest, and when he does a little old lady sits and watches as Santa hacks into the body of the priest; luckily Santa leaves the old lady to live and hands her a few bucks for her hard work, and at that moment I had never felt so relieved as to see a character live which I can't really say for the 14 year old brat that got everything she deserved (she opens the door to Santa who attacks her with zapper until the girl fries, then she finishes her off). The films inventiveness came around from deaths such as throwing hookers in wood chippers and shoving sluts through antler wall ornaments... classy. Listen, the film is far from brilliance and is at times a little scrappy but I must say, I did enjoy it. 

VERDICT: Many festive treats have come before such as Black Christmas but none have been as enjoyable as this. Yes, the film is a little boring at times and yes, it can be extremely predictable but there's no denying that you'll get a kick out of seeing horrible characters die and there is no denying that the gore, the humor and the scares all make up for a good festive treat to watch if there is a shortage of horror this time of year. Oh, and keep away from children at all costs.


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