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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Silent Night, Deadly Night

1984 | United States | 79 min | More...
A still from Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
  • Watched on C: 3 stars (out of 5)
    on Fri Dec 18, 2020 via Blu-ray 1

    Come for the sleazy Santa slasher, stay for the toys.

    Just before Christmas, young Billy and family visit his institutionalized catatonic grandpa. Alone with Billy, grandpa slips into a moment of lucidity and warns Billy of Santa’s propensity to punish the naughty. On the way home, the family pulls over to help a stranded motorist dressed as Santa. Billy watches in horror as the Santa-clad psychopath murders his parents.

    Flash-forward. A now-grown Billy works as a stock boy in the local toy store. As Christmas nears, Billy’s boss forces him to sub for the store Santa. Seeing himself in the suit, Billy snaps and embarks on a murderous rampage, prefacing every kill with a guttural whisper of “NAUGHTY!”

    Sure, Silent Night, Deadly Night lacks the depth of Black Christmas or Christmas Evil, but it proves entertaining in its own right. It packs a quirky authenticity. The Utah locations evoke the right snowy-small-town atmosphere, and the performances charm despite their awkwardness. The violence—while graphic—remains creative throughout. And at a lean 79 minutes, it doesn’t wear out its welcome.

    But for me, the biggest thrill came from the toys littering the store shelves. Mint-in-box Castle Grayskull and Jabba the Hutt action play-sets. G.I. Joe vehicles and costumes. Yes, costumes, from those cardboard packages featuring a clear window to display the mask. I had the green “Dracula” one. Watching the film whisks me back to the toy stores of my youth. Not the thrill the filmmakers intended, but a thrill nonetheless.

    1. 2017 | Shout Factory | Unrated Version

Older Viewings

  • Watched on Tue Dec 10, 2019 via Alamo Drafthouse Cinema - One Loudoun
  • Watched on Sat Dec 08, 2018 via Shudder