Today’s feature is the 2012 remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night, which goes by the simplified title of Silent Night.
Silent Night was written and produced by Jayson Rothwell, who also penned screenplays for flicks like Second In Command, Malice In Wonderland, and Blessed.
The director for the movie was Steven C. Miller, whose other credits include Under The Bed, Automaton Transfusion, and The Aggression Scale.
The cinematographer on Silent Night was Joseph White, who has shot a variety of horror movies, including the cult favorite Repo! The Genetic Opera, Fear Clinic, 11-11-11, Shelter, and the 2010 remake of Mother’s Day.
The editor for the film was Seth Flaum, who has primarily spent his career cutting comedy features like Vegas Vacation, High School Musical, Juwanna Mann, The Great Outdoors, Grumpier Old Men, Fanboys, The Replacements, The Country Bears, and The Whole Ten Yards.
The team of producers for Silent Night included Joe Laurin (ATM), Richard Saperstein (Lost In Space, Hancock), Patrick Murray (Kill Me Three Times), Kevin Kasha (The Butterfly Effect 2, The Howling: Reborn), Adam Goldworm (The Black Cat, Pick Me Up, Dreams In The Witch House), Aaron L. Gilbert (Daydream Nation), James Gibb (Whiplash, Drive), Brian Witten (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Spawn, The Wedding Season), and Phyllis Laing (Heaven Is For Real, The Haunting In Connecticut).
The music for Silent Night was provided by Kevin Riepl, who has primarily worked on scoring high-profile video games like Gears of War and Unreal Championship.
The Silent Night makeup effects were provided in part by George Frangadakis (Sushi Girl), John Wrightson (The Dog Who Saved Christmas), Josh Wasylink (The Taking of Deborah Logan, V/H/S: Viral), Gregory Ramoundos (Dogma, Frankenhooker), Doug Morrow (Capote, Wrong Turn 4), Vincent J. Guastini (Thinner, Super Mario Bros., The Toxic Avenger Part III, The Langoliers), and Andrew Freeman (Battle Los Angeles, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters).
The special effects unit for Silent Night included Evan Campbell (The Faculty, Elves, Spawn, Darkman II, Darkman III), Tim Freestone (Curse of Chucky, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist), James Kozier (White Noise, The Core), and Paul Noel (X-Men 2, X-Men: The Last Stand).
The visual effects work for the movie was done by a team that included Conrad Dueck (Swordfish, The Core), Michael Shand (Catwoman, Paycheck), Scott Purdy (88 Minutes, The Wicker Man), and Tyler Hawes (Superman Returns).
The cast of Silent Night includes Malcolm McDowell (Suing The Devil, Caligula, A Clockwork Orange, Class of 1999), Jaime King (Sin City, The Spirit), Ellen Wong (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), and Donal Logue (Gotham, Terriers, Reindeer Games).
The police force of a remote Midwestern town search for a killer Santa Claus who is picking off citizens on Christmas Eve.
In spite of the title of the movie, Silent Night is far less inspired by the original Silent Night, Deadly Night than you might expect: the similarities essentially end with the common appearance of a killer dressed as Santa. The plot is more derived from the real life 2008 Covina massacre, in which a number of attendees at a Christmas party were murdered by a man dressed as Santa in a combined shooting and arson.
Silent Night received a very limited theatrical release, which didn’t reach a particularly wide audience. Those that did see it gave it a mixed reception: the film currently holds a 5.2 user rating on IMDb, along with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 64% from critics and 33% from audiences.
The biggest criticism I have of Silent Night is that it didn’t need to masquerade as a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night: it really should have staked its claim as something entirely new, with the sole commonality of a killer Santa.
The tone of the movie does have some significant issues, however. For the most part, Silent Night is a straight horror movie, though it borrows a number of elements from cop thrillers as well. The problem comes with the insertion of some inconsistent moments of humor in the screenplay, which aren’t enough to push the movie as a whole into horror-comedy territory, but are enough to not be negligible.
Overall, this is a totally watchable horror movie, though I might call it unremarkable. There are some amusing performances scattered throughout that keep it entertaining, and the gore effects are everything that you could want from this sort of movie. I wouldn’t recommend it strongly, but there are certainly worse ways to spend your time than watching this flick