Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Starring Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Britt Leach, Nancy Borgenicht, H.E.D. Redford, Danny Wagner, Linnea Quigley, Leo Geter, Randy Stumpf, Will Hare

Directed by Charles E. Sellier Jr.

Expectations: High, I’ve heard good things.


Argh, this one is just shy of being absolutely phenomenal. The first half is full of incredibly well-done psychological horror, showing the fucked up childhood of Billy and how the damage is manifesting itself throughout his life. About halfway through the film devolves into the sadist slasher movie I expected the whole thing to be and it loses a lot of the steam it had built up. Oh well, even with this frustrating issue, Silent Night, Deadly Night is a fantastic slice of 80s horror and any fan of the genre should definitely check this one out.

The film opens with a family traveling to visit Grandpa in the nursing home. He’s silent and apparently trapped in his head, but when left alone with his grandson Billy, suddenly Grandpa comes to life. He tells Billy about how Santa doesn’t just bring presents to those children that are good, he also punishes kids that were naughty. And not just mostly good, you gotta be ALL good or else Santa will punish you! Billy trembles in fear, and later when they’re traveling home and they stop to help out a Santa with car trouble, Billy freaks out. When this Santa, who happens to be a criminal in disguise, attacks and kills Billy’s parents, the concept of a pleasant, jovial Santa is forever eradicated.

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