I’ve made it clear I’m saving my tears for tragedies more devastating than a horror movie being remade HERE. Let me also be honest and admit that I get a kick out of watching supposedly broad-minded horror fans stomp their feet and get all Harper Valley P.T A. puritanical whenever a new one is announced. Sorry, nothing is more comical than a person in a zombie T-shirt crying about the death of originality. Greedy Hollywood is “out of ideas” that, or maybe they just know that pious bubble-dwellers will promote their film ad nauseum by bitching about it non-stop for a year…and then see it anyway. Can you believe that somebody had the gall to remake SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT? How can anyone hope to improve upon that fine piece of cinematic artistry? Don’t get me wrong, I adore SNDN but a lot of my affection for it is because it is crass, disrespectful and mocks propriety. It’s not a movie that would clutch its pearls and say “Well, I never!” at the thought of being remade. It was born to step on toes.
If you are appalled by remakes you better not watch SILENT NIGHT (2012); not only does it use a previously existing movie as a springboard to tell its story, it brazenly lifts swatches of content from fellow maligned remakes! Still teary-eyed about the MY BLOODY VALENTINE redo? Well here comes JAIME KING and a small town atmosphere to pour salt on your wounds! Still throwing darts at that ROB ZOMBIE poster because he successfully burned every copy of JOHN CARPENTER‘s masterpiece in existence? Here comes that no good MALCOLM McDOWELL and he’s brought expressive color filters and light flares with him! That’s gotta sting. Never mind that the first two SNDN‘s, long out of print, have been released at a reduced price to coincide with this differently titled movie’s release, this abomination was built to ruin everybody’s innocent memories! How will we ever go on?
SILENT NIGHT is a fine modern slasher. It has an exceedingly likable lead in KING and even though it’s lame on occasion, its coal black sense of humor easily wins out in the end. They did a superior job making the Santa killer look menacing and there are more than a couple inspired kills. Granted, some of the nods to the original work better than others. It’s always nice during the holidays to see someone impaled on antlers, but they needed to hire a much gnarlier dude to play phony-comatose grandpa. The guy they chose could play a patriarch on a nighttime soap! Look, I LOVE Christmas horror films and regardless of this flick’s origin, it’s a welcome addition to my collection. It’s too soon to say if it will become part of my seasonal rotation but if I had to guess I’d say, “Who am I kidding? Yes.” It’s a crisp breezy romp and I must put a star on its tree for not shying away from killing a bratty kid who asked for it. I’ll always favor the orginal’s more personal story focusing on the forging of a psychopath, but there’s room in my stocking for this approach too. I won’t over sell it because I’m bias as hell but if you’re into killer Santas movies than it’s a must see all the way. In fact, I’m hoping it follows its inspiration’s lead and spews out many sequels for years to come. Yes, SEQUELS! Groans of disapproval are music to my ears.