15. Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out

It's your Horror Review Advent Calendar.
25 Christmas themed movies.
Ho, ho, ho.

Director: Monte Hellman (1989)
Starring: Bill Moseley, Richard Beymer, Samantha Scully
Find it: IMDB

It's an unwritten rule that every 80s' slasher franchise should have at least one movie in which the killer fights a teenager with psychic powers. Even better if said teenager is blind. Silent Night, Deadly Night's threequel follows the rules and has killer Ricky (Moseley) trying to kill blind psychic Laura (Scully). Well I think she's supposed to be a teenager, but Scully looks about thirty.

Silent Night, Deadly Night III opens with a thoroughly promising sequence. Fully grown Laura sits on Santa Claus's lap and asks him for "a barbie doll, a bicycle, some roller skates, ballet shoes, and a mickey mouse watch." Thoroughly unimpressed, Santa produces a knife and makes with the stabbing. It's all dream though, manufactured by Doctor Newbury (Beymer) to somehow awaken killer Ricky Caldwell from his coma. Doctor Newbury's plan to use psychics to communicate with coma victims is pretty cutting edge stuff, although I think he overestimates the ratio of genuine psychics to coma patients. It's a success though, and Ricky awakens. Unfortunately for Laura, Ricky is aware of their psychic connection and plans to sever it - with a KNIFE. 

Unlike Silent Night 2, this is a proper sequel - the sort without forty minutes of flashbacks before the story begins. Unfortunately, this means that there's more crappy movie to persevere through than before. I'd sort of hoped that Better Watch Out would spend forty minutes recapping the previous movie in an anarchic "fuck you" to its audience. It could hardly have been much worse than the actual film. Also, you try watching three Silent Night, Deadly Night movies in a row.

Aside from the stupidity of the story, it has Bill Moseley wandering around with what looks like a colander on his head. And in an effort to make their blind protagonist seem strong and wilful, the filmmakers have her acting like a complete knob to people. Upon meeting her brother's new girlfriend for the first time, Laura refuses to shake her hand and makes a blowjob joke. Movie blind people are dicks.

Those hoping that Bill Moseley might do something entertaining will be disappointed by his portrayal of Ricky. Even Eric Freeman did a better job, and he did nothing but stare at people. The remarkable thing being that Moseley made this film three years after doing a completely cartoonish Chop-Top in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2. If I hadn't seen his name in the credits, I'd never have known it was Bill Moseley.

Freddy or Jason would have made mincemeat out of Laura within half an hour, but Ricky takes all day about it. After murdering a hospital Santa and a receptionist, Ricky makes his way to Laura's family home and murders Granny off-screen. It's pretty funny watching Grandma mistake Ricky for a handicapped tramp, but this movie really puts the silent in Silent Night. Gone are the outrageous kills and sleazy atmosphere; Better Watch Out is tremendously dull and without either a compelling killer or characters. Ricky doesn't even don the Santa outfit. Although I suppose the hat wouldn't have fit over the stupid bowl on Bill Moseley's head.

The previous film ended with a Nun's head falling off. This one ends with Ricky accidentally impaling himself on a stick. You better watch out - Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 is a terrible movie.

1 comment:

  1. Not that it redeems the movie per se, but I'm pretty sure that he does put on a Santa Outfit at some point. He may not wear the hat though.

    I think it's after he kills the guy at the Gas Station, but I can't be sure.

    Here's the question I had when I watched the film before: how can a blind person have visions? How would she interpret the sights? I think she's been blind since birth, so I don't think you can say that she remembers colors/shapes/etc.

    Bonus points for not warning the staff that they're going to die, since one of them was a bitch!