Friday, December 12, 2014

Horror for the Holidays: Silent Night

Well hello there readers of mine and welcome back for Day 4 of Horror for the Holidays. Looks like a running tally for the use of Silent Night in more than half of the Christmas themed horror movies I have researched via IMDB. Some have been cults, warlocks, zombies and even the odd serial killer screaming, "Naughty!" but you get the point. Now, what I am about to review now is in fact not a remake but just a loose telling of a real life tale of the Covina massacre blown out of porportion via Hollywood. With the fair writing skills of Jayson Rothwell (Bob's Weekend, Blessed, Second in Command and Malice in Wonderland) and placed in the hands of director of rock videos and short films Steven C. Miller (Automaton Transfusion, The Aggression Scale, Under the Bed and Submerged), we are in for a bit of a gore fest but maybe it will not surpass Laid to Rest and here's hoping on that. I couldn't eat lunch for over two hours thanks to that flick. This is Silent Night.

Bob's first Krav Maga lesson with Santa goes awry.

In a small Midwestern town that looks awfully like the bacony sight of Canada. We find a fellow ducking the camera giving us the illusion of foreshadow or tension that he is in fact the killer decked out as Santa with his own personal flamethrower... yeah I didn't stutter, I said a flamethrower. Now unless he is stowing that in his bag of toys I am not certain how he carries that around with him. A young deputy is devoid of his uniform, bound to a metal lawn chair and strapped down with Christmas lights pleading for his life when he is fried like a wonton with bad CGI eyeballs exploding out of his head. A slight nod or homage to Silent Night, Deadly Night 2.

Young deputy Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King of Pearl Harbor, Bulletproof Monk, Sin City, Two for the Money and My Bloody Valentine) is woken early from bed by Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell of A Clockwork Orange, Caligula, Blue Thunder, Superman: The Animated Series, Star Trek: Generations, Justice League and Halloween) claiming the same eye popping lad has been AWOL since last Thursday and assumes he was out and about, now sleeping it off. With a surplus of Santas roaming about for the impeding holiday Santa parade makes it almost impossible to find out firebug psycho so the local law has their work cut out for them as it is.

Freeze, curtains!

While dealing with down and out cynical Santa Jim (Donal Logue of Blade, Ghost Rider, Life, Shark Night 3D and Sons of Anarchy), Deputy Bradimore is dispatched to the old abandoned house along the way because of an odd smell where she encounters the missing deputy and a missing housewife, both quite indisposed... that's deader than Pauly Shore's career if I was too subtle. With the body count reaching higher our hapless sheriff is no closer to discovering the who, what and why as Deputy Bradimore is convinced that our killer has to be someone they trusted as there have been no forced entries with each homicide. What is the connection to all these people? Why them specifically? Are they simply being punished by someone's code of morals and honor?

With the clock ticking down and red herrings aside our law enforcement better have downed enough caffeine to freak out a long haul trucker or it's curtains for this quiet little town.

A few comments on the flick. One, this is gory but not to say the level of the Saw movies. The death scenes are over the top to be certain but that would be if we were watching a thriller rather than a slasher film. CGI eye popping looked so damn phony that the make-up crew forgot to blacken the victim's skin better. Kudos to the scalp wound though. As one-dimensional as most of the characters that have been on the naughty list, I found myself rooting for Killer Santa. Mild amount of nudity, the f-bomb got dropped more than a few times and they were stockpiled on Kyro syrup and black food dye. McDowell is clearly having fun with this movie as his one-liners are just the right amount of cheese delivered in such a serious manner you cannot help but snicker. 

 Vicious murderous make-up SFX guru Vincent J. Guastini (The Last of the Mohicans, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Devils Carnival and Under the Bed) the dismemberment, head splitting, axe wounds and gore gags aside tip their hat a bit to both the original and the second Silent Night, Deadly Night films but it does not have any story-line like it other than the killer is in a Santa suit and is going to town on the "guilty". That is really were the similarities end. So entertaining to a degree but DEFINITELY not one for the kids to curl around the fire place to AT ALL.

Guess he is not here to trim the tree.