If Violent Night and Rare Exports weren’t enough to satisfy your violent Santa cravings, we’ve got just the thing for you. Silent Night, released in 2012, is a remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night. Another remake, you say? Surprisingly, Silent Night is actually decent or at least better than expected.
Our heroine is Aubrey (Jaime King), a deputy sheriff with some serious confidence issues. A murderer, dressed as Santa Claus, starts wreaking havoc in their peaceful town. He seems to target people he deems “naughty”, including, but not limited to, porn stars, adulterers and annoying teenagers.
In no way is Silent Night better than the original or a masterpiece in its own right. It’s simply… fine. It’s gory enough to satisfy those who want their horrors gross and it’s stupidly funny enough to make up for the fact it doesn’t say much about its themes.
Silent Night is, at best, a three-star film. Three stars is always a recommendation, even if there’s nothing more disappointing than a film that is painfully average and forgettable. But there is also a strange beauty to the three-star, average film.
I’m much more likely to stick on Silent Night, or something like Escape Room or Crawl, than I am a true horror masterpiece like Suspiria, Hereditary or The Babadook. Whereas Hereditary left me shaken to my core (this is a compliment), Escape Room brings me a sense of comfort. I can confidently say I’ve seen the latter far more times than Ari Aster’s debut feature, which I wouldn’t hesitate to give five stars to.
I once read that people with anxiety often rewatch films because it’s more comforting to know what happens. Director David Lowery said of his painfully slow, but beautiful film A Ghost Story that he doesn’t mind if people fall asleep watching it, because it means they felt comfortable and peaceful during it. I think there’s also a comfort to be found when you’re not watching a masterpiece that requires you to actively engage with whatever is thrown at you.
Films like Silent Night are made for pure enjoyment. You’re not looking for yourself on the screen, you’re just having a good giggle at the bad dialogue, obvious plot twists and the extravagantly gory kills. Silent Night absolutely excels at all of the above; it also has plenty of references and little winks at the original film.
As far as remakes go, this one has some similarities to Black Christmas. Silent Night, too, just takes the basic premise – Santa Claus on a murder spree – and then does its own thing. It’s a gamble, but in the case of Silent Night, it definitely paid off. Say hello to your new comfort horror.