Director – Charles E. Sellier Jr. (Snowballing, The Annihilators)
Starring – Lilyan Chauvin (The X-Files, Predator 2), Robert Brian Wilson (A Husband for Christmas, Jake and the Fatman), and Gilmer McCormick (Slaughterhouse-Five, Godspell)
Release Date – 1984
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Everyone has their must watch Christmas list. I could spend all day going over which films I have to watch but I will spare you that amazing list. Most are horror but there is a few non-horror tossed in just because they fucking rock. Among the horror films I watch this joyous season most are slashers. I love holiday slashers and the ones that take place during Christmas will always have a spot in my movie rotation.
Aside from Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night is the essential Christmas viewing. Way back when I was writing for my little blog I decided to review this slasher. My review was horribly written and poorly put together. Granted, my reviews are still shit but I like to think that I have grew as a writer. Recently, Scream Factory released the film on blu. I was lucky enough to get a review copy of the film and decided to write a new and hopefully improved review for this release.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows two brothers who live in an orphanage after their parents were brutally murdered by a maniac dressed as Santa. The oldest brother, Billy, has a hard time adjusting to the orphanage and often felt uncomfortable during the holiday season. When he turns 18 he finds a real job working the stock room at a toy store. With Christmas approaching he finds himself attending the store Christmas party where his strict upbringing and memory of his parents murder forces him to snap going on a Christmas rampage killing people who are “naughty.”**Spoiler Alert**
When it comes to holiday slashers there will never be another Halloweenor Black Christmas but Silent Night Deadly Night does a fantastic job. It has all the slasher elements that make slashers so much fun minus the masked killer and the killer reveal.
The acting in this one is fantastic and arguably one of the better acted slashers. I really enjoyed Robert Brian Wilson’s performance as 18 year old Billy. His career did not take off which is a shame but he was fantastic in his role. He is innocent and socially awkward before flipping a switch and becoming a madman. I could see him getting typecast as a slasher after this film was released. I also enjoyed Lilyan Chauvin’s performance as well. She is a strict headmistress that really sent chills down my spine. She was more terrifying than the homicidal Billy.
The story for this one is not the masked slasher or the “whodunit” that I usually enjoy but it still delivers a body count and holiday themed kills. I tend to enjoy the masked slashers or the slashers that do not reveal the killer until the end of the film. With that being said, knowing that Billy is doing the killing adds a bit of excitement to the story. The film does have a few slow scenes but these are few and far in between.
Finally, the film has several on screen kills that makes very good use of the holiday. Several of the kills are brutal and showcase some great practical effects. A few were cliched by this point but that didn’t take away from the fun of watching the blood squirt. Overall, fans of this classic slasher will need the Scream Factory release for their collection. The movie is amazing and really deserved the treatment Scream gave it. Check it out.
Slay Bells Ring: The story of Silent Night, Deadly Night
Santa’s Stocking of Outrage
Poster and Still Gallery