Not traumatised enough by his own grandfather, Billy goes on to see his family murdered by a fella dressed as Santa. Looks like Gramps ain't so crazy after all. His parents dead, it's at this stage where a kid either decides to dress up as a giant bat or become a serial killer.
Like many 80s’ slasher movies, Silent Night Deadly Night isn’t too scary, but is plenty creepy. It’s lurid and often gratuitously cruel. Does anyone really need to see a lady raped by a chap in a Santa costume? Not really, but the creepiness of it all is excellently done and partnered with a wonderful soundtrack of standard 80s’ synth and cheesy Christmas music. It’s lighter on the gore than its notoriety might suggest (a bunch of outraged mothers got it pulled from several cinemas), but it’s sleazy enough anyway to make up for the lack of onscreen claret. Plus, there's this, the greatest sequence of events ever to grace a Christmas film since Billy Bob Thornton beat the shit out of a child in Bad Santa:
Of the myriad of Christmas horror movies, Silent Night Deadly Night is perhaps my favourite. The story’s generic, but not so much that it can’t hold a few surprises. Billy’s transformation from innocent wee kiddiwink to traumatised psychopath is a plausible one; you too would likely go crazy if you had as much shit heaped upon you as he gets in this movie. And the pace is not as slow as Black Christmas, the tone less overtly silly than Gremlins or Jack Frost.
So if you thought that the likes of Fred Claus are too light on the stabby-stabby, beheadings and impalements (and yes, it was. Incidentally, that film is vastly improved if you imagine Paul Giamatti burying an axe in Vince Vaughan's fucking face) then Silent Night Deadly Night is surely the flick for you.