Anchor Bay delivers with a nice modern update on the slasher movie, using the cult classic Silent Night Deadly Night as it’s jumping off point. A film, that looks simply amazing on blu-ray, colours and details are wonderfully crisp, and I had a really good time with this one.
There were two outright homages to the original film, one where Dennis (Erik J. Berg) goes to see his grandfather in a home, where he’s in a catatonic state, until he warns him about the dangers of Christmas eve. The other features our Killer Santa (Rick Skene) impaling poor Tiffany (Courtney-Jane White), the mayor’s daughter on a pair of mounted horns. It also follows the trend of leaving the innocent completely alone, even if they witness the murder.
This time around though the story, once again set in a small town, is more skewed towards the police led by hard-ass wannabe Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell) and Deputy Aubrey Bradimore (Jaime King).
It seems someone is working on their naughty list, leaving warning gifts, and hunting down those who need to be punished. All those on the list meet their end rather brutaly and in grisly detail, including the delightful Cortney Palm (who we just saw in the outstanding Sushi Girl), who plays an adult model named Maria. (I was hoping she would be around longer, she’s one to watch I think!)
The film is surprisingly fun! It knows exactly what it is, and doesn’t have any pretensions. The kills are gruesome and disturbing, and while not necessarily imaginative, they definitely get the job done.
The one thing I liked about the original that was lacking in this one, was the idea of the Killer Santa being forced to become what he is, we see in the backstory how he was created, and he uses Christmas Eve to be an avenging angel in Santa gear.
Aside from Ms. Palm, I was also very happy to see Donal Logue in the film as a very cynical and bitter Santa. He’s one of the actors on my list of those who really don’t work enough, and I would cast him in everything I shot if I was a director… I really miss his show Terriers.
The dialogue tends to be fairly sharp, walking that fine balance between kitsch and melodrama especially as the story progresses, Malcolm especially seems to enjoy chewing the scenery.
Honestly, it’s as if someone took an 80s slasher film, updated it just a touch for today’s age, pop culture references, gore, a better quality of image all added in, and let it loose on unsuspecting viewers.
If slasher films are your thing, and you’re not so much a Christmas fan, or don’t mind a little blood on the mistletoe, then this may be right up your alley!
I had a really good time with this one (lots of laughing, some ‘oh nos’ and even a jump), perhaps it’s all the horror movies I’ve watched over the past year…
Also of note is that our friend, Rebecca Sandulak was the film’s still photographer, and she’s just awesome!
Did you see it? Do you prefer the original or this re-imagining?