As they say, 'tis the season to be jolly. But, for some horror fans, 'tis also the season to enjoy a little macabre fun. For example, watching the 80s cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night. A film which has gone on to become an enormous cult classic which spawned four sequels and this very remake I will be talking about, while also having faced some serious controversy when it first released. Mainly due to the fact that the film’s plot involved a clearly unhinged man dressing up as Santa and horrifically killing those he deemed naughty. Parents weren’t very happy with this. Nonetheless, this is still a well-known film in the horror genre and it was only a matter of time before it got the remake treatment. With all that said, how does this remake stack up? Does it retain the sleazy charm of the original? Or fall flat on its face? Well, let’s make room in the chimney for Santa and dig into it.
Silent Night is a pretty loose adaptation of the original. No, it doesn’t have the characters and story from the original film. But, unlike some other remakes, it still retains a lot of what people love about the original and at least keeps the basic story of a killer Santa killing those he deems naughty intact. With that said, the first thing it gets right is the sleaze factor. This is a town whose underside the film is more than happy to show. From drugs to cheating spouses and to adult videos being filmed, the filmmakers don’t shy away from the sleaze factor. The other thing it gets right is the gore. This is a suitably gory film with a couple solid references to prior films of the franchise. Which brings me to my next point; the wonderful homages sprinkled throughout the film from the kills to classic lines (“Garbage day”). Finally, the performances are, for the most part, really good. The actors seem to be in on the joke and are clearly enjoying themselves, McDowell in particular.
Overall, this is a pretty solid remake of one of horror’s most notorious cult classics. The story and characters may not exactly be updates on the original, but the spirit is there. It’s clear the filmmakers were fans and set out to make something that would honor what’s come before. And, for the most part, they nailed it. Hopefully, this isn’t the end of this particular franchise.