FILM REVIEW: Silent Night (2012)

Today, both Bryan and Johnny from Film Deviant take a look at the holiday film of the season...Silent Night!

BRYAN: Silent Night, Deadly Night  came out back in 1984 with all kinds of controversy around it. Apparently, angry parents and teachers protested outside the theaters urging people to avoid the film. Roger and Ebert condemned the film. Basically, if you went out to see it during its quick theatrical run, you were considered a Deviant. Did you feel dirty watching this new version, Johnny?

JOHNNY: Dude, I wasn't even a month old when the original came out. My favorite horror films  have always been slashers like Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and, when I buckled down to watch this new installment, my eyes got wider and wider with every death scene. It brought me back to the good old days of horror slashers!
BRYAN: I felt the same way, man. Silent Night  felt like a fun throwback to those slashers from the 80's. The ones where some random sicko shows up and starts hacking teenagers for no apparent reason. The main difference that kind of set it apart from those older films was that it was shot beautifully. The film looked more expensive than it was. Thanks to the refined directing of Steven C. Miller (Automaton Transfusion) and the keen eye of cinematographer Joseph White. Say what you want about the film...but, at least it looked great!
JOHNNY: It did! They used their budget in the right places...and much props to the special effects team. When the douchebag boyfriend gets it...beautiful body parts and elaborate death scenes all over the place!

Sprinkle in a solid cast..and you have a winner every time!

BRYAN: Speaking of body parts...what was your favorite death scene?

JOHNNY: The boyfriend in the bedroom!

BRYAN: Yeah...the boyfriend's death was pretty awesome. I loved the wood chipper scene. It had everything you could want in a horror movie death scene. Naked hottie running around in a Christmas tree field. What more could you want? LOL
Let's talk about some of the actors in the film...shall we?

JOHNNY: And, man...there were quite a bit! Some i haven't seen in awhile.

BRYAN: I know, right?? Dude...the Asian chick from Scott Pilgrim was in this! I had such a crush on her when that movie came out!

JOHNNY: Not even gonna lie...she looked good in this film. I can see why Santa wanted to give her his candy But Malcolm McDowell surprised me. He played the obsessed cop perfectly with a few hitches..

BRYAN: Oh my God...I love Malcolm McDowell in just about anything he's in! Hitches? Da fuq are you talking about...hitches??

JOHNNY: Yeah, it seemed to me like he was trying to be the good public protector/mentor all while also being the take no prisoner-rule-bending gritty cop. Not that it is was bad and in no way does it take away from the film.

BRYAN: Yeah...I can see what you're saying. Kinda like he was playing two roles at once. I felt like they kinda wasted Jamie King a little. She's normally a decent actress and I feel like they didn't know what to do with her.

JOHNNY: Right, King and McDowell were great together, tho. She's the young gentle noob and he's the hardened vet.

What parts do you wish they would have changed or have left out ??
BRYAN: Well, as we talked about a little earlier...I didn't care for the actual ending of the film. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone wanting to check it out...but, I felt it was a little in your face and forced. Like...oh, by the way...this is why the character does what he does. It migt've worked better as one of those quickly cut scenes that the filmmakers stick after the credits.

I also didn't care for the subplot with that other Santa with the bug eyes. It was a little distracting and didn't really go any where. You?

JOHNNY: The forced scene, as you said...I don't know if it was mentioned in the original...was it? But, it wasn't really that damaging. And what happens to Santa's where-abouts is where they lost me. Like really? He's responsible for all this, and this is how the film decides to leave him? I would have just left his where-abouts a mystery.

BRYAN: Totally agree! But how about that ax-fighting scene...huh??!

JOHNNY: No words can express how awesome it was! Even when they hinted at it, when Santa walks by the fire axe. Even when you know its gonna're still in awe like, HOLY FUCK ITS AN AXE FIGHT!!

BRYAN: Hell yeah! See the film for the axe fight alone!
So, as a whole...what did you think of Silent Night?

JOHNNY: I have to give credit where credit is due, and Miller delivered a film I hadn't seen in years. He made us remember the good old 80's slashers and mixed it with this pretty camera work and sick death scenes! It may not be his murder masterpiece...but it's very close to it.

BRYAN:, what's your blood score?

JOHNNY: 5 out of 5

BRYAN: REALLY??? You loved it that much??

JOHNNY: have to give it a perfect score, man...not only for what we spoke about...but I also love how Miller was able to apply the fear during some day time scenes...and that's hard to do for many directors!

BRYAN: Wow...while I liked the film...I usually reserve my perfect blood scores for masterpieces and felt this one had some flaws that kept it from being perfect. While I enjoyed the titties and the gore...I would have to give it a solid 3 out of 5.
JOHNNY: Seriously? A 3 out of 5?? Because of one feel that it affected the entire film??
BRYAN: Well...that and I felt that the film was pretty far from a serious all out horror film. Don't get me wrong, I really had a great time watching it...but, it's more of a gimmick film than an actual true horror film. Compare it to something like The Shining and you'll see what I mean.
JOHNNY: Touché. But, you realize that you are comparing apples to oranges. How about we meet in the middle? 4 out of 5?
BRYAN: I guess.

VERDICT: For those expecting a shot-for-shot remake...look somewhere else. This one's a nice little throwback to the days of mindless slashers heavy on gore and female nudity. While it doesn't quite leave a lasting impression like the original did and it probably isn't as controversy does maintain a good slasher sensibility and decent performances. It is a nicely made film that will fit the bill every Christmas season. It is everything the original film should have been while not quite building on the depth from that same original. Definitely worth a look!