Silent Night, Deadly Night may not be the best horror movie. However, it was one of the most controversial. In the eighties, America was going through a period of heavy censorship. Heavily graphic films and music were dissected by uptight soccer moms that had nothing better to do. Just look at Tipper Gore and the PMRC attacking heavy metal and hip-hop. It was a turbulent time.
So, Silent Night, Deadly Night picked up a load of heat not just because it was a slasher. But because it was a slasher that featured Santa Claus. Now we were dealing in the Devil's work. Santa's viewed as a wholesome figure that's highly respected by children all over the world and shouldn't be portrayed in such a negative light. How could children ever look at that bloated, aged creep in the food court at the mall the same way again? Critics took queue from this heat and panned it heavily.
Unfortunately, all of this hype was for a pretty mediocre movie. Silent Night isn't a very scary movie. At least not by today's standards. It's predictable story-line is just confusing and not very interesting. The acting isn't a gem either. However, eighties scream Queen Linnea Quigley was fantastic as always.
If you couldn't tell yet, this movie is set during the holiday season. The plot of the film revolves around the fragile Billy Chapman. Who, as a child, watched his parents get mutilated by a psychopath in a Santa costume. Needless to say, he doesn't grow up well. He spends his youth in a Catholic orphanage where, of course, he is humiliated and harassed by the staff. Aside from one of the nuns who befriends him. She senses that something isn't right with this kid and keeps a keen eye on him. Then out of nowhere, BAM! Christmas shows up and an adult Billy decides to go out on a killing spree!
The movie tries to work on a psychological level, and it succeeds a bit. However, the movie proves to be too predictable to be taken seriously. The film has a Psycho-esque quality to it that only drives the film so far. The acting is pretty flat and the plot gets convoluted. This is definitely a movie that's worth watching during the holiday season. While this movie isn't the best. It benefits the quality of the movie massively by watching it only during the holiday season. It goes against all the happy go-lucky Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer stuff you grew up with. So don't expect a movie that you can watch with the whole family.
You've made it through Halloween. Now try to survive Christmas!
- This movie was almost titled "Slayride"
- This movie was neck and neck with Nightmare on Elm Street at the theaters during it's release. It actually earned more than Nightmare in its first week. However, during the second week Silent Night, Deadly Night fell and never got back up!