The police force of a remote Midwestern town search for a killer Santa Claus who is picking off citizens on Christmas Eve
If ya came looking for a X-mas horror show, then “Silent Night“, will definitely fill your stocking. I’ve often wondered why the need occurs for such horrifics to blossom under the guise of Santa and the holidays (for the horror genre). I came to a few simple conclusions.
One, whatever movies that get created with a “holiday” as its theme, seem to last the tests of time in the circles of cinema. It’s true…if you look at how regular slasher films come and go as opposed to ones that have Santa Claus doing the killing…well they seem to get revisited ever year as a “holiday centered horror film”. Take Valentines Day for instance which has a small hand full of films that come to mind under that theme. They have become infinite as a horror-centric centerpiece for the season.
Then of course there is the second reason, which is…these films make top 10 lists every year as a suggested horror film to watch for “that” season. They are quite cleverly made to be mainstays, whether intentional or not.
So with that… I can simply say that “Silent Night” is one brutal lethal dose of holiday horror. There is no humor here, no “cute” festive associations, it’s a straight for the throat kind of violence.
We begin this homage with Santa inflicting electrocution on an helplessly individual. From here it gets even bloodier and sadistic.
The film is centered in small town Cryer, Wisconsin that oozes a certain underlying foreboding nature. It was explained the folks have got inventive when they had to face the Mill closing down.We have strippers wearing Santa hats snorting cocaine and posing for soft p*rn. We have a sleazy preacher who not-too-inconspicuously shows signs of being a pedophile/pervert. We have an excess of bad Santa’s walking around with the occasional report of ones that feel the need to educate kids about the evils of society. We have spoiled brats ordering adults around like children, but most of all we have one killer Santa who is intent on murdering in the most vile ways.
Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King) is a local cop who is ordered to work the holidays despite the emotional trauma she carries over her deceased husband. Sheriff Cooper, (Malcolm McDowell) the chief of police, has seen alot. You might say he has grown cold to the crime and horror that comes with holiday mayhem. This year, he’s got his hands full with a psycho Santa serial killer marching thru town. In typical Malcolm McDowell fashion, he’s rude, temperamental and also concerned (for his town). As our film’s killer Santa makes his visit to much of the seedier personalities living in town, he also does so without mercy and in a most horrific way. One girl who is interrupted per mid soft p*rn filming is chased down, dismembered per Santa’s axe and thrown “alive” into a wood chipper machine. This is only one of the vile circumstances this film offers.
In fact, “Silent Night” offers everything you could hope for in the sense being horrified and unsettled. As Santa misdirections come and go, “Silent Night” evolves into a cut-throat style thriller. King and McDowell are a great team to watch. Donal Logue as Santa Jim provides the perfect cynical Santa character. The production on a whole is also very well done offering its share of jump moments. You might even say that there may be a surplus of “dark Santa” masks floating around next Halloween. Director Steven C. Miller might receive his obvious share of flack over this film, but it surely will top most of the left over X-mas horror legacy movies. Miller has proved AGAIN he has a clear understanding of what it take to horrify.
While this film will be an obvious slam to the holiday and the time of rejoicing, it does execute some sort of genre need for the masses. It is powerful enough to and violent enough to go down within the halls of holiday horror as a repeat offender for years to come . There is nothing Silent about this night, screams come in abundance.
Silent Night (2012)