Movie Reviews 373 – Silent Night (2012)

Nothing says Christmas like a flame-throwing Santa Claus!

Following in her proud father’s footsteps, Aubrey Brandimore (Jaime King) is a loyal small town cop under the watchful eye of sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell). But Aubrey is having a crisis of confidence having recently hesitated to use force when it was necessary on the job. But her true nightmare begins as she is called into work on Christmas day when another officer misses a shift only to find out the reason behind that officer’s “no show” is that he is one of the first victims of a Santa suit wearing serial killer. And Santa’s spree across town puts Aubrey at the center of all the action.

Not to be confused with other bloody yuletide offerings like Silent Night, Deadly Night (and any of its sequels) or Silent Night, Bloody Night where the antagonists are merely a deranged lunatics, this Silent Night red and white suited slayer, while seemingly killing indiscriminately, knows exactly what he’s doing. Well I guess wearing the Saint Nick garb while using a fireplace poker, wood chipper, scythe and the aforementioned flamethrower to slice, dice, garrote and fry people isn’t exactly sane but let’s just say there is a method to the madness.

McDowell as the macho, gung-ho sheriff with the “Not in my town attitude” nearly steals the show but King’s more laid back, methodical and persevering approach to the case is the one that will bear fruit. There’s gore aplenty with body parts all over the place and for those that are familiar with Silent Night, Deadly Night , there is a cool nod to that film with a replicated kill scene. For those that like a bit of kink with Mrs Claus, that too is provided thanks to the mayor’s smokin’ hot daughter who’s making softcore porn movies on the side.

But there are always a few lumps of coal that have to be taken in with the good presents and consequently the film is not without it’s problems. While the setting is supposedly a small town in the midst of a crisis due to a recent mill closure, there seems to be hundreds of so called ‘charity’ Santas all over the place and even in the local pub. After a roundup suspect “tall and large footed Santas” the squad room is filled to the gills with Santas. Basically you can’t throw a stick and not hit a Santa around here. The victim selection seems to be haphazard until the reveal at the end puts it somewhat in perspective but that then does not explain why ‘bad’ Santa had passed over some of the targeted victims given the opportunity earlier in the film. Yeah, I know, I’m being too nitpicky for a deranged Santa slayer movie.

If you want a pure and simple holiday film, go watch It’s a Wonderful Life. If you like your festive season entertainment a little on the bloodier side, Silent Night will be a perfect stocking stuffer.


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