1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A decent (very loose) homage that can stand on its own.,
This review is from: Silent Night (Blu-ray + DVD) (Blu-ray)
A few years back when remakes were running rampant, I decided that I hated them. I made this decision before even viewing the bulk, as so many of them SUCKED. Was this fair; most likely not. Hell, Cronenberg's "The Fly," one of my favorite films, is a remake. I suppose that in 2012, I am more open minded to the idea of remaking horror films that I loved as a child of the 80's. Or maybe I've simply "accepted" the fact that it simply will not stop (kinda like a Terminator). I honestly think that remakes stand a chance if they a. Are sans Michael Bay b. Try to add something that actually adds to the film and serves a genuine purpose (never put a garnish on a dish that is inedible) c. Are remakes of films that are not overtly iconic or commercial. <- Okay, so I understand that "Silent Night, Deadly Night" is infamous for the parental outrage (which is just ludicrous, imo) and such, but is it a stellar horror film that offers anything truly memorable, other than a 'boobs and antlers' scene? My answer is no. It's a cult film; it's an interesting film; it's a must for die-hard horror collectors. All of that aside, "Silent Night, Deadly Night" is NOT A Nightmare On Elm Street.
I think that I was most apprehensive about Silent Night because of the absolute train-wreck from HELL that Black X-mas (06) is. The original Black Christmas is chilling, stylish and effective despite its lack of nudity, sex and gratuitous violence. And the killer is never seen; the POV angle allows the power of suggestion. The remake is an absolute unintentional comedy, as it fails to truly be a black comedy or horror film; it's a yuletide log alright.
Okay, rant over. RE: Silent Night. It's good! It's not the best horror film that I've seen, even in recent years, but it's decent. It has a fantastic pace to it. Also, Jaime King is a great actress. I never thought that I'd say this judging by her stint in films such as "White Girls." Similarly, King also adds a lot to the remake of Troma's "Mother's Day." Something tells me that scream queen is her thing. She's not only beautiful; she can actually make me believe her and like her, and that's not an easy feat. So, pros: Good acting overall, great pacing, great FX, straight forward approach, does not try to be bigger than its britches.
This is more of a re-imagining than a remake. There are little nods and homages to the original, but Silent Night is a film of its own. That being said, a semi "con" is the fact that I miss the "Mother Superior" back-story. The orphanage adds a vulnerability to the the original that is missing here. On the other hand, making the "killer" faceless (masked) makes the film more suspenseful? The anonymous killer puts the audience on the edge, unlike the original, whereas we know from the very beginning whom is doing the killing and why. The "Jason" and "Michael Meyers" esque anonymity given to the killer Santa turns Silent Night into a 21st century slasher film, despite its recycled device. Too many horror remakes fail because 1. They should not be done in the first place and 2. They paint by numbers for most of the film, but then get en-snarled in the "psyche" of the killer. Black X-mas (06) is a mess on several levels, but the fact that "Billy" is given an elaborate and inane back-story is a part of the film's major flaws. Also, Rob Zombie's re-imagining of Halloween also suffers from the pitfall of "too much" character development and back-story. So, despite what might seem like griping, I maintain that Silent Night is a straight up horror film that delivers.
One major con is the LACK OF SNOW. C'mon now! Mountainous America in DECEMBER sans snow???? I'm not thrilled with the ending--a lack luster attempt to explain the killer's motives--but I am assuming that a SN part 2 is possible. This might be a wild guess, but will it be called "Deadly Night?" The shortened title could be a clever marketing move, but maybe I'm reading too much into this.
My favorite scene of the film is the Suicide Girls-esque photo shoot turned Christmas tree lot chase. It's proof positive that the director simply had a blast making this.