Don't leave cookies out for this bad, bad Santa....
Anchor Bay / 94 Minutes / 2012 / Rated R / Street Date: December 4, 2012
Merry Christmas, everybody: here are some dead bodies.
When we meet the good-looking, mourning Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King) in Silent Night - just as she's about to go on duty - it's clear that the loss of her husband weighs on her in a significant way. This is her first holiday as a widow, and (unsurprisingly) she doesn't know exactly how to deal with it. The good news is that she doesn't have much time to harbor these kinds of feelings because once she gets to work, we discover that a man dressed as Santa has decided to go on a killing spree, and Aubrey has to close the door on her personal feelings as much as she can and stop slasher Saint Nick before he kills again.
Naturally, he does kill again, and this kind of bloody massacre is what Silent Night is distinctly interested in providing its audience. This is a surprisingly and frequently off-puttingly violent motion picture, one that milks its R rating as far as it will go, pinning Saw-style gore and dismemberment on the tree next to every ornament. At least the emotive, scenery-chewing turn from Malcolm McDowell as the town's mortified sheriff helps balance the movie's body count.
Yet while it's nice to see Hollywood return to slasher Christmas territory (how old of a movie is Silent Night, Deadly Night?), this is a low-rent affair, one that strives to allow its protagonist's very real sense of emptiness to inspire its overall storytelling, but fails miserably in doing so. Slasher fans might grin and giggle at some of the more creative usages of torture and murder employed in Silent Night, but it's unlikely that any of these exhibits will merit a second viewing of the thing.