Member Blog Post
When I saw the trailer for this film around November, I was actually impressed by how it sets itself out to be nothing special and had the classic 1980’s Slasher feel about it. I’ve never seen the original as the trailer never won me over and I get suspicious when people say it’s a classic. So Christmas came and went and it never appeared at my local cinema so it was obviously on limited release which annoyed me a little and for once it was a film I really wanted to see and review. The same thing happened when “The Children” was released in a limited screenings. I again watched the trailer and yep I still got the same vibe as last time and from the trailer I already made a conclusion of what the film will be like, a film that says what it is on the tin - violence, gore and horror, a film which will stay in the safety of it’s genre and not push any new grounds or boundaries , just a good old fashion re-visioning of a 1980’s Slasher film, with a storyline very similar to “My Bloody Valentine“. I managed to get a copy of the film, so lets dim the lights and see what Steven C. Miller vision of “Silent Night” holds for me…….*closes eyes and quietly prays* Don’t let this be a shitfest……………………
Dark screen and suddenly some very festive opening music begins…..ok this is different and then my jaw dropped….not in disgust but in surprise at how grimy the film is it reminded me of the way they filmed the 2003 “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake…which gave a very raw edge to it. Wow this Santa is one twisted individual, he doesn’t have to say anything but just use body language which reminded me of Michael Myers a silent stalker, and how he taunts the guy in the cellar who coincidently is strung up like a Christmas tree. As soon as I saw this guy I knew how he was going to die and it was the same classic formula with it’s famous equation:
Victim + Electrical Equipment/wires x H2O = Electrocution on a grand scale
So Santa electrocutes this guy and I was quietly muttering “his eyes have to explode….please explode“…..and they did in a very satisfactory way.
Scene change and enter our hero Aubrey Bradimore played by Jaime King (who I’d seen before in another film but could not put my finger on it……later found out she stared in “My Bloody Valentine 3D” remake. So a phone goes off and enter a voice I recognised…….it’s dry humour and delivery of some fine lines like "It's Christmas Eve, it's going to be a real cluster fuck" it has to be none other than Malcolm McDowell playing Sheriff James Cooper…I got a feeling this film is going to have some memorable quotes……anyway back to the film, How many Santa’s does one town bloody need?? It would just confuse the children but on the upside everyone in this town seem really friendly and quite nice…makes a change from the clichéd (deep over voice) “There was a town called (insert your town name of choice) which held a dark secret”……blah blah yawn yawn.
The town sort of reminds me a little of the town in “Gremlins “…damn what was that town called………that’s it Kingston Falls.
Looking at the time on the DVD it’s now at the 10:08 enter this really obnoxious teenager who is a right spoilt bitch - She knocks her Mum’s heart medication out of her hand…why you ask?…..All because all SHE wants is to go too the Mall!!!!! What this spoilt brat needs is a damn good smack and some strict discipline…but hang on Santa is at the door…….Santa has just given her her Christmas present - a good cattle rod of death to the chest followed with a fire poker…….satisfied.
What is it with pervy priests that seem to be preying on the young or vulnerable you would of thought someone would of reported him and I’m sorry I was surprised that our hero Aubrey didn’t arrest him on the spot after he says some rather creepy dialogue "Always remember Jesus loves you, and is always there for you and so am I, if there is any thing I could do to ease your pain, (sexually squeezes Aubrey shoulder ) cue pervy smile…….my skin crawls. Later on in the film this Priest decides to take some pictures of the busty carol singers and you don‘t need me to tell you what he was actually taking pictures off and it wasn‘t their faces! This man really needs a CRB check and also poses an important question “If a Priest loses his flock (congregation), they become dirty perverts??” - discuss.
What I like about this film so far is how it pokes fun at modern day life, a good example is when Aubrey is doing a cross word and asks the Police Station Receptionist Brenda a crossword question, Brenda’s response was “I’ll Google it” to which Aubrey makes a social comment about using your head not Google.
So enter Deputy Giles (Andrew Cecon) this guy had me laughing as he is such a contrast to the other cops in this town he is so obviously the stereotype “goofy” cop, but he say’s one of the classic lines in the film which had me choking on my cup of tea.
Police Receptionist: "You know that travelling Santa he's been making kids cry"
Deputy Giles: "Maybe he got a boneeeer"
Deputy Giles: "kids are squirming in his lap all day it was bound to happen sooner or later"
So Aubrey goes of for a showdown with this “Naughty” Travelling Santa , and we see him in full flow and it’s another tongue in cheek moment.
Travelling Santa: “If your presents are not under your tree do you know what happened?
(Kid looks confused)
Travelling Santa: "Your parents have taken them and sold them on eBay -
(look of horror on kids face)
Travelling Santa: "Never trust your parents"
So Aubrey and Travelling Santa have this wonderful interchange of words and it was masterfully done and shows the strength and wit of the dialogue, which I wasn’t expecting.
The one main problem I’m having with this film so far is what I call “Wobble Cam” in certain scenes it’s dramatic “Wobble Cam” and melodramatic zoom ins and I find it a bit distracting as you can’t really see what the hell is going one without giving yourself Sea Sickness!! As you can tell I’m not a fan of “Wobble Cam”.
So Aubrey finds body of missing Deputy and it’s clear she hasn't seen a body before…..Oh yeah “It's a quiet town” so Aubrey heads upstairs with “Wobble Cam” and enter the bedroom and I let out "oooooooooooohhh nasty" what had I seen a total decapitation of a female body and the thing I was glad about was how the camera didn’t linger to long on the decapitated body, just enough to get a small idea of what happened and allows your brain to add the rest. Now enters the Man of the Moment - Sheriff James Cooper (Malcolm McDowell), Malcolm McDowell is just good in everything he does even if the script is utter shit he still outshines everyone in crappy films……cough “Silent Hill Revelation“….cough…. and the way he delivers his lines is just perfect. In this film alone he steals it, he owns this film, here is an example of some of his lines.
Sheriff James Cooper: (Observation of a crime scene) "Oh messy, (look’s around) “Oh big feet"
Sheriff James Cooper: (At crime scene 2) "Porn, Drug's when did this town become so sleazy"
Sheriff James Cooper: (When corrected on the spelling of possible suspect) "Double S double screwed"
Sheriff James Cooper: (After Deputy Giles finished singing “Happy Christmas to Cooper) "What do you think this is??…. glee??"
There are so many more and it adds some light relief to the film, which the film does need as it is quiet dark and brooding. However, like any good Slasher film……I just need to say six words………“Oh yeah bring on the porn!!!!!!” The soft porn shoot lead’s to a typical “cat and mouse” chase of Killer and Victim. But before that moment there is a leg crossing moment of a disembowelment and a metal pick swinging full force into a guy’s balls…“ouch” *in a high pitched voice*. So starts the chase which at one point reminds me of the chase scene in “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” remake when the guy get’s his leg chopped off, in fact it’s very similar. And this leads me to the biggest question “Why the hell is the Victim going towards a tree shredder????” I don’t think there will ever be an answer too this immortal question……Santa picks up girl and her amputated leg and throws them both into the tree shredder….I was horrified and the actress’s acting in this scene was amazing and I was left feeling uncomfortable about what I just witnessed and sort of feel sorry for the poor girl - nasty death.
Just noticed every time Malcolm McDowell appears on screen what's with the twin peaks style music motif??…
I was right with my trailer predictions in the close similarities of this film and “My Bloody Valentine”
1: Santa sends his prospective victim’s a small Christmas presents
2: the way the killer Santa utilises his axe is similar to the way the Killer in “My Bloody Valentine” taunted his victims with the pick axe.
3: Based on an Urban Legend
The film finally comes to the epic climax and what I thought was the end was ruined by a “revelation ending” and I hated it and it ruined the films ending!!! Through out the film I was thinking who is the killer and going through a list of possible candidates but by the end I didn’t care if we never found out who the killer was. I was quiet happy with the mystery of who was he??? And the closing scene of the burning mask and the film just ended. The revelation bit ruined the ending and was totally clichéd and predictable….hated it with a passion!!
Verdict: Overall a surprisingly good Horror film, doesn’t try to be flash like some “remakes” and keeps within it’s genre. The pace of the film is quick and I never got bored, the film is dark and brooding but there is a good amount of humour in the dialogue to lighten up the mood of the film. Plenty of violent deaths which were unsettling at times. Acting is overall good with Malcolm McDowell stealing the show, and a excellent atmospheric soundtrack by “Gears of War” composer Kevin Riepl that set the mood for the film perfectly……Now for the downsides Some people will be disappointed that “Silent Night” didn’t expand or try something new with the original material and played it safe. The “Wobble Cam” is off putting at times and I don’t think it was really required. The Twin Peak’s type music every time Malcolm McDowell appeared on screen did eventually get a little annoying. There were some scenes which just didn’t make sense like the Comatose Granddad scene when he suddenly wakes up and speaks in a “deep demonic” voice about Christmas to his Stoner Grandson. It had no relevance to the film at all?? Another scene is when “Soft Porn girl” falls from a window - cue very poor….no I’ll be honest……really shitty CGI background being imposed…Oh it did annoy me as it took away the action and fear of the scene and that there had been minimal CGI throughout the film. The clichéd ending really ruined the finale for me and could have been left on the editors’ floor. However; I would recommend Silent Night to people and would defiantly re-watch it again as it did leave me with a very satisfying feeling despite it’s flaws.