Combustible Celluloid
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With: Jaime King, Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong, Brendan Fehr, Lisa Marie, Cortney Palm, Jessica Cameron, Ali Tataryn, Courtney-Jane White, Kelly Wolfman, Mike O'Brien, Aaron Hughes, Erik J. Berg, John B. Lowe
Written by: Jayson Rothwell
Directed by: Steven C. Miller
MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence, some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Running Time: 94
Date: 11/30/2012

Silent Night (2012)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Scary Christmas

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Back in 1984, Silent Night, Deadly Night became the source of an outbreak of hysteria. Parents and critics and others singled out this killer Santa Claus movie as the source of all that was wrong with the world, never mind that it was hardly the first Christmas horror film (and never mind that it wasn't very good). Eventually there were four sequels, and the series ended with a whimper in 1991. Now, in the grand tradition of remaking every single horror movie of the 1970s and 1980s, here comes Silent Night, which is not so much a remake as just an "inspired by" movie.

Our killer Santa now wears a plastic mask under his hat and beard, and his backstory is a little less horrifying than the one from the original film, although only in that it does not include rape. On Christmas Eve in a small town, he goes on his merry rampage, seemingly targeting lowlifes, pornographers, and others that make the holidays look cheap. Local cop Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King) and Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell) try to track him down. Donal Logue plays a very cynical Santa who tries to tell kids the "truth" about Christmas, and becomes an early suspect.

Director Steven C. Miller and writer Jayson Rothwell use the festive, small town setting to wonderful advantage, using colored lights whenever possible to puncture and contaminate the darkness. But overall, their slasher film doesn't particularly go anywhere or do anything that any other slasher film (including the five previous Silent Night, Deadly Night movies) has before it. The characters never really pop, and none of the slayings really shock. It's kind of a chilly experience, and forgotten not long after it's over.
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