The interesting thing – I can’t believe I’m going to say about this – about the first two “Silent Night, Deadly Night” movies was they were largely from the perspective of the slasher. I’m sure there are others, but anyone who calls themselves a “slasher movie expert” ought to reconsider their life choices, and those are two of the only ones I can think of.
Anyway, the rest of the series was a weird mixed bag, but none of them were really what you’d call a traditional slasher movie. And that’s what this one is, without a doubt – with all the stupidity and poor character choices that entails. It sort of spins off the plotline of part 1 – where a guy in a Santa suit kills those people he’s deemed “naughty” – and features recreations of a few scenes (most well-done, the one where a fornicating woman’s impaled on antlers, but her younger sister is left alone, because she’s innocent) plus at least one in-joke, where a deputy taking out the trash goes “what is this, garbage day?”
The perspective character in this is Deputy Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King), whose husband died last Christmas. She’s debating whether she’s got the stomach to be a police officer, but she’s got a boss who needs her there on Christmas Eve to police some Santa Festival the town has. That boss is Sheriff Malcolm McDowell, whose performance is so magnificently bizarre – on purpose, I’m sure – that he almost elevates the film single-handedly. Then there’s a bunch of characters who exist solely to be red herrings (including a great turn from Donal Logue), with the sheer number of them perhaps being a throwback to part 5.
What you get in this is a disappointingly 80s view of slasher film women, as they exist solely to be titillating or brutally murdered, most notably one scene where a topless girl runs through a motel’s grounds, then a Christmas tree lot, before being fed into a wood chipper. The gore is really, really gory too – people’s heads get split open, limbs get hacked off, their faces get beaten in, and so on, and we see all of it. Not my cup of tea, to be honest, but it’s certainly well done.
I thought for a moment that the movie was going to end without telling us who the killer was, which would have certainly been an unusual move, but in the end it’s just some guy whose Dad got killed in front of him after trying to murder a load of people dressed in a Santa outfit, so then he became a chimney repair-man so he could go into peoples’ homes, find out if they’d been naughty or nice and kill them. Or maybe the chimney repair thing was a Christmas joke. Who knows? Perhaps the lack of sensible motivation is a joke too. He does kill several people in a motel room with no chimney, who are from out of town, so he’d have absolutely no idea they were there, though. When was the last time you had your chimney repaired? If you’re in that very small sub-group of “sinners with faulty home heating systems” then you’re doomed, other than that, do what the hell you like!
Where’s he cleaning his outfit? Santa gets his beard drenched in blood at least twice, but by the next scene it’s always pristine white again. And it’s not a cheap off-the-shelf one, either. These are the sorts of things people think about when the movie is too stupid to hold their attention.
If you really like mostly naked women being murdered in graphic, excruciating detail, then pop this film on. If you happen to like films with arcs and interesting plots and where the filmmakers gave a damn, it might be best to look elsewhere. Oh, a really annoying pre-teen gets cattle-prodded to death! Sorry, I forgot about that bit. If it had carried on from there, I might have liked it more!
Rating: thumbs down