Thursday, 31 December 2015

Christmassacre Five - Silent Night (2012)

After how much I raved and said I loved the original Silent Night, Deadly Night you would think I'd watch the remake with higher expectations than I normally would for a modern slasher film, that I might review it in comparison to the original rather than letting it stand on it's own merits. And while I can't say I have never done this when watching a remake, I can say I watched 2012's Silent Night without comparing it too much to the original because in reality this is an in name only remake, new plot, new characters and only passing references to the original. This could easily have been called Silent Night, Deadly Night 6: Malcolm McDowell Saves Christmas, actually it might be better to watch it with the mind set of it been the fifth sequel. So yeah, as a remake Silent Night doesn’t work as it has the barest in common with the original, but as a film on it's own right is it good? Maybe, is it fun? Hell Yeah!

This time around we follow the cops of a small town as they try to track down a man going round killing people dressed in a Santa suit, targeting sinners such as pornographers, bitchy kids and perverts.

First off I must say this film looks great with some scenes really wonderfully shot including the opening and the first out door kill, the latter including some wonderful shots and angles (it is also probably the best kill in the film so I won't spoil it here). Colour was used well, especially in the final battle in the police station where rooms are bathed in either red or green light.

Jamie King plays an enjoyable lead as cop Aubrey Bradimore, but it's Malcolm McDowell I love in this film as Sheriff James Cooper, you might find some of his cheesy dialogue eye rolling at time but that was part of the fun for me, he's clearly having a blast here spouting these often ridiculous lines. Donal Logue also has a small role as an arse-hole mall Santa and is just wonderful, he isn't in the film enough.

Our killer Santa has a good look, particularly the creepy rubber mask he wears, though I'm on the fence weather or not I think we should have seen his eyes through it, I think it might have been scarier if they had just been solid black voids like on the poster. Most the kills are your standard sharp blade's been inserted into squishy humans, nothing wrong with that of course, though there are a couple more creative ones, such as the first death, the porn actress's and of course the remake of the famous antler impalement from the original. Speaking of the deaths the effects are good, yeah there are a couple of CG kills that are probably not that bad but they do tend to stand out more because the practical ones look so good and are very gruesome.

There are a couple things I'm unsure about, it implies the killer lives in the town and while this may be true it's never confirmed as it also hints that he may travel around. Though him living in the town does explain how he knew who to kill, yeah the pervy priest and adulterous cop would have been easy for him to find out about but some of the others it would only really make seance if he lived there. But this is a small nit-pick and never stopped me enjoying the film as I watched.

There are a hand full of references to the original, they remake the creepy granddad scene, have a character say 'garbage day' (in reference to the infamous scene from the second film) and as I said before do the antlers kill. While these are fun most seem to just be a token effort and mostly could be removed from the film without affecting it at all, but they are fun nods and I'm glad they are there.

This won't be a film to everyones taste, it is far from perfect and I'm sure you could pick apart plenty of holes in it, but if you can just kick back and enjoy it for what it is, a fun pice of slasher escapism, you'll have a blast. It also teaches a valuable lesson...

'Never bring a flamethrower to a gun fight.'

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