Silent Night is a fun slasher that fully embraces the ‘80s vibe. A loose remake of 1984’s controversial Silent Night, Deadly Night, this newer version takes a very different approach, while including elements from the original that fans will pick up on.
In the remake, Jaime King stars as a deputy in a small town in the Midwest. This town is famous for its annual Christmas activities, which culminate in a huge Santa Claus parade through the downtown streets. This year isn’t all about the Christmas cheer though, as an evil Santa has infiltrated the events and is dispatching the town’s naughty list in a variety of gruesome ways.
While this is technically a remake of the 1984 film, it pretty much leaves the original plot in the dust. The story, while rooted in the same premise, has been reworked so it’s not giving you a rehash of what you’ve already seen. It’s telling a new and very different tale, and the result is pretty fun. It doesn’t delve into the same level of pseudo-psychological bullshit in order to establish its premise - it just dives in. Small town. Christmas. Killer Santa. Go. You eventually learn a bit about the killer, but it doesn’t really impact the story or the progression of events at all. The film is pretty straightforward.
Those familiar with the original will notice plenty of shout-outs to the 1984 version. Creepy grandfather, ax-wielding Santa, death by Christmas lights, the deer (Oh God, the deer...) - they all make an appearance. And while the concept of a killer Santa is pretty freaking dark, Silent Night isn’t as mean-spirited and as nasty as the original was.
And the casting and performances are pretty damn good for a low-budget remake. Jamie King turns in a solid performance as our competent heroine, and we get some pretty stellar moments from Malcolm McDowell as her boss, the arrogant, gung-ho Sheriff. His lines were some of my favorite moments in the entire film.
While a little bumpy at times and not terribly inspired, it is a pretty capable slasher film and a fun ride. I recommend this as a fun addition to your holiday roster. It’s not going to blow the doors off, but it’s an entertaining 90 minutes. Plus, Santa and a fucking flame-thrower. Need I say more?
Silent Night is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.