Surviving Christmas is hard for pretty much anybody these days. Between buying gifts, cooking dinners, putting up lights and decorations, decorating trees, and dealing with crazy family members... yeah, the holidays can definitely be a hard time not only on your wallet, but on your mental health. But imagine having a madman running around your small, quiet town on Christmas dressed as good ol' Santa Claus, wielding an axe and out for blood! The poor community in 1984's Silent Night, Deadly Night dealt with that, and it made for one KILLER Christmas movie!
Directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr., Silent Night, Deadly Night featured a killer Santa Claus wrecking havoc and punishing people with relentless, brutal deaths - and as you could imagine, the general public back in the 80's weren't exactly thrilled about it. Promotional material featuring a killer Santa upset a lot of people, which caused the film to receive a lot of negative media and reviews. So much negativity surrounded the film, in fact, that it was pulled from theaters after only being shown for a week. Regardless of that, the film still went on to make $2.5 million as well as earnings its self a massive cult following, four sequels and even a (loose) remake in 2012. Nowadays, where there is very little controversy that ever arises from movies like these, Silent Night, Deadly Night can go on to become a Christmas classic, and rightfully so, especially for those like ourselves who love a good slasher film!
This movie is awesome for a few reasons. It has everything you need really: a traumatic and fucked up event, an impressionable kid, a creepy nun, an incompetent police department, and plenty of blood and boobs to keep you enticed. The killing spree that the main character, Billy Chapman, goes on is a pretty fun ride: it starts off at his job's Christmas party, makes its way to a neighboring house where he finds two teens fooling around, and finally it brings him back to the orphanage where the overbearing and creepy head nun, Mother Superior, can be found along with all of the orphans. Its a fun run that Billy makes, and his kills along the way are pretty epic in their own right. One of the only real complaints I could possibly make about the film is that I wish it had more "Christmas-related kills." In other words, making the kills somehow related to Christmas (such as using decorations as weapons or sharpening candy canes down to make knives, you know, typical serial killer shit). Billy does make use of a string of Christmas lights and even a gnarly taxidermy deer head mount, but it would have been just a little more badass to see some additional Xmas-related kills. But the murder spree certainly isn't weak - Billy's killing run will definitely keep you entertained and on the edge of your seat waiting to see where it will go next.
The story to Silent Night, Deadly Night is quite basic and nothing really too crazy, to be honest - but it's definitely not as lame or as cheesy as a lot of the Christmas-horror movies that have been released since. The story doesn't goo too in-depth and doesn't try to come across as too serious. Its a light-hearted and fun Christmas killing spree from a kid who got fucked up at a young age by a dude in a Santa outfit. But its the characters, the actors, and the action that picks up where the story leaves off and makes Silent Night a must-see for all horror fans during the holiday season. I haven't had the pleasure of seeing the sequels or the remake of the film yet so i can unfortunately only speak on the original, but Silent Night, Deadly Night has become a Christmas classic and is not one to be missed!