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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER REMAKE THAT PAYS DECENT TRIBUTE, November 30, 2012
This review is from: Silent Night (DVD)
There seem to be three roads to take when making a horror film these days. The first and least used path is to make something original. Unfortunately few in charge these days are willing to risk anything to make an original film. The second is to make a sequel. The sad part here is that when an original film is made that succeeds it tends to go this route to far lesser productions. The last road is that of the remake. The bad news is that some people feel they need to improve what can be considered a classic and update it for the times, more often than not by adding a few more scenes of titillation or more gore. Most of these fail. But once in a while...

SILENT NIGHT is not actually a remake of the classic bad movie SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT, the film that caused such an outrage when it was released years ago. Yes, a few of the memorable items from that film are here including a killer dressed in a Santa costume and the antler scene. But this film feels more like a tribute to all of those low budget slasher flicks from the 80s instead of a remake.

Its Christmas time and in a small Midwestern town everyone is gearing up for the annual Christmas parade as well as the Santa costume contest. Aubrey Bradimore is a new deputy for the Sheriff's department. Still dealing with the recent loss of her husband, Aubrey is called in to work the night shift when another officer fails to show for work. Bad goes to worse when Aubrey is sent out to find him only to discover his body strapped to a chair and electrocuted in a basement as well as the dismembered body of a woman upstairs. For those of us watching we know full well who the killer was. Well sort of. It was a man dressed in a Santa outfit with a mask on to keep everyone from knowing up front who the killer is.

The cantankerous Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell) insults his deputies and rules with an iron fist. Discovering he has a possible serial killer in his town while a major event is schedule doesn't bother him. Instead he welcomes the chance to face down the killer without the help of the State Police or FBI since the roads to town are presently closed. To him this just means that the killer can't leave.

As Aubrey and Cooper as well as the other deputies search for clues, signs of what is about to happen creep up around town. Various town members each receive a small wrapped package but none of them open them. Had they done so perhaps a clue would have led them to the killer? Included in those who receive a package are the mayor, the sheriff and Aubrey's father, an ex-policeman in town.

The victims at first appear to fall prey to that most dangerous of things found in slasher movies; they all seem to be having sex. The deceased deputy was having a fling with a married woman. The killer's next victims are shooting low budget soft core porn in a motel room giving the film makers the chance to offer some nudity, thus satisfying the prerequisite T&A required for all low budget horror films.

As the body count rises, Aubrey continues to try and figure out just who this mass murderer is. Cooper, on the other hand, is ready to blame almost anyone. The clues slowly unravel a bit but in all honesty it doesn't matter. For slasher films of this sort its more about body count and the methods of murder that matter most.

As I said at the start this movie isn't quite a remake of the classic bad film of the same name. That movie revolved around a young boy scarred by a life in an orphanage who had traumatic experiences around Christmas time as well as having witnessed his parents murdered and raped by a man in a Santa outfit. A twist on that is offered here at the very end, but nothing that would lead us to the identity of the killer early on.

The movie seems to pay homage to those cheap slasher films of the 80s by following their patterns fairly faithfully rather than try and make something more meaningful. It offers the masked killer who seems unstoppable. It offers the gushing fake blood by the gallon, more than any wound would actually spout out. It offers victims who are either in the midst of sex or have a secret in their past that began this whole cycle to start with. And it offers a heroine who comes to the rescue before the final reel. It also offers one more classic 80s slasher item but I won't reveal that one. If you don't recognize it then you're not a fan of the genre.

Offering few scares but enough story to hold your interest, this movie isn't that bad. It will be a nice addition to the collection of holiday horrors on your shelf. If you're offended by that sort of thing it will be easy enough to walk by. But for those who have a fond remembrance of those 80s slasher films then you'll want to give this one a watch. The vibes that emanate from this one bring back the feeling of those films in spades.
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