Silent Night (2012) Review – A Decade Later: Reassessing the Horror Remake

Since the holiday season has finally here, it is time to get out some movies that are more suited for watching at this time of year. Movies like “Home Alone,” “The Muppets’ A Christmas Carol,” “Scrooged,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “Harry Potter,” and “Bad Santa,” amongst many more, are among the numerous that have the potential to get you in the mood for the holidays. But what about Silent Night (2012)?

The Christmas horror classic “Silent Night, Deadly Night” from 1984 holds a special place in the hearts of the vast majority of fans of the horror genre. In contrast, the film “Silent Night (2012),” which was released ten years ago, did not receive a particularly positive reception from fans of the horror genre in general. It is totally evident why horror aficionados would always regard the original with far greater respect than any remake, but the question that still has to be addressed is whether or not the remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night from Silent Night (2012) was in fact that horrible, so let’s find out.


It’s Christmas Eve in a remake that is loosely based on the cult classic “Silent Night, Deadly Night.”, a murderer masquerading as Santa Claus has gone on the run. Deputy Aubrey Bradimore had made plans to spend Christmas Eve with her parents; but, when Deputy Jordan went missing in action (AWOL), Sheriff Cooper compelled Deputy Bradimore to fill in for him. Aubrey makes a visit to the church so that she may reflect about John, who she had to say goodbye to earlier in that year. But the tranquilly that she finally finds is shattered when a scary priest shows around.

Before the procession, the other officers are searching the police station for any suspicious parcels they may have missed. After that, Aubrey is taken to a Santa who is spreading malicious rumours to children. Then, she is taken to an unkempt and deserted house, where she discovers that Jordan has been murdered; he was the bad Santa’s first victim. She reports it and then begins searching for the woman who was reported missing. Evil Santa doesn’t discriminate. He kills men, women and kids. Will Aubrey and her friends be able to find their Santa Claus in a town when there are so many of them?

Silent Night (2012)

“Silent Night (2012)” resurrects the essence of the quintessential slasher film, delivering a modern homage to the spine-chilling classics of yesteryear. It revels in the timeless horror trope: “He knows if you’ve been naughty,” which echoes ominously throughout the movie. With a tongue-in-cheek approach, the film indulges in a degree of campiness that’s both wryly amusing and endearingly self-aware.

In this grim holiday narrative, Santa Claus is reimagined as the ultimate arbiter of the naughty list—a figure devoid of mercy, who administers a twisted form of justice. The film’s portrayal of Santa is chillingly ruthless, a stark contrast to the jolly old elf of lore. It’s this merciless disposition that propels the film’s narrative, as Santa embarks on a relentless spree to purge his list of transgressors.

The hallmark of “Silent Night” is its inventive brutality. It eschews the trap of repetitive slayings, ensuring that each act of violence is distinct and imaginative. Santa’s arsenal is as varied as it is festive, turning the tools of holiday cheer into instruments of terror. An axe, a dagger, and a flamethrower become harbingers of doom, while a wood chipper, deer antlers, and even the sparkling adornments of Christmas are repurposed into macabre tools of elimination. This variety not only heightens the suspense but also injects a dose of dark creativity that keeps viewers guessing what Yuletide horror awaits around the corner.

When I first settled into the chilling embrace of ‘Silent Night (2012),’ I was brimming with skepticism. Echoes of outrage rang loud in my mind—’This is just a rip-off of the original!’ The film, at that time, felt like a pale imitation that could never hold a candle to the 1984 horror classic ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night,’ a film that not only shaped my taste in holiday horrors but also had secured its place as an untouchable favorite. The remake was subsequently banished to the dusty corners of my memory, seemingly never to grace my screen again.

Yet, as the wheel of time spun a full decade later, a spontaneous urge led me back to the forsaken title. There it was, nestled among Tubi’s eclectic mix—’Silent Night.’ A film I had once discarded, now beckoned me for a revisit. With nothing more than a faint curiosity, I pressed play, not realizing that this viewing would be starkly different from the first.

Perhaps it was the passing of time or the shifting tides of my own perceptions, but as the credits rolled this second time, my initial disdain had softened. ‘Silent Night’ had evolved in my eyes from an unwelcome clone to a standalone entity that, while paying homage to its roots, dared to carve out its own identity. No longer was it a mere shadow of the original, but a film with its own set of merits and a distinct approach to the Christmas slasher narrative.

This rewatch brought clarity. The film, though it may not have outshone the original’s infamy or matched its status as a cultural phenomenon, managed to capture a slice of that quintessential horror magic. The ’84 release was met with an unprecedented wave of controversy and criticism, a feat unlikely to be replicated. ‘Silent Night (2012),’ however, need not eclipse its predecessor to be appreciated for what it is—a bloody, bold, and unapologetically brash addition to the holiday horror genre.

What struck me most upon this viewing was the realization that the concept behind ‘Silent Night’ remains as potent and engaging as ever. The notion of a killer Santa Claus, though not novel, still harbors an undeniable appeal, a testament to the enduring power of a well-worn trope when executed with a fresh twist.

In the end, the visceral thrills and dark humor of ‘Silent Night (2012)’ resonate differently now. The film’s capacity to entertain and horrify without pretense has earned a newfound respect within the chambers of my horror-loving heart. I found myself appreciating the nuances I had previously overlooked—the way it nods to the genre’s history while brandishing its own brand of mayhem. The inventive kills, the unsettling atmosphere of a town draped in both festive lights and shadows, and the relentless pacing that leaves no room for the holiday cheer to settle.

As I reflected on the film’s journey from its cold reception to its current residence in the annals of horror remakes, I understood that time had been kind to ‘Silent Night.’ It had gestated into a cult favorite in its own right—a film that doesn’t ask for forgiveness for its brash reinterpretation but instead revels in its place in the modern horror lexicon.

Revisiting ‘Silent Night’ after a decade has been a revelatory experience. It’s an exercise in giving second chances to stories that may not have hit the right note the first time around. It’s a reminder that our tastes evolve, and what once was scorned can later be celebrated. The film stands as a testament to the idea that even within the well-trodden paths of genre cinema, there are always new frights to discover and new pleasures to take in the macabre dance of horror.

So, if you’re in search of a horror flick that blends Christmas cheer with fear, give ‘Silent Night (2012)’ a chance on Tubi. Whether you’re revisiting it with fresh eyes or experiencing its gleeful carnage for the first time, you might just find that it offers the perfect antidote to the season’s overwhelming sweetness. It may not be the holiday classic for everyone, but for those willing to embrace its gory gifts, ‘Silent Night’ is a present worth unwrapping.

In conclusion, ‘Silent Night (2012)’ serves as a stark reminder that even the most maligned movies can reclaim their narrative. It’s a film that, upon second glance, delivers a sleigh ride through the tropes we thought we knew, with a blood-spattered Santa at the reins. It’s not just a film—it’s a festive frightfest that now holds a unique place in my repertoire of Christmas viewing. So as the snow settles and the nights grow longer, perhaps it’s time to let ‘Silent Night’ carve its icy path into our holiday traditions. The film’s unapologetic embrace of its slasher roots might just be the alternative holiday spirit some of us are searching for—a respite from the traditional narratives that dominate the season.

So, let’s raise a glass of eggnog to the gritty resilience of ‘Silent Night (2012).’ A film once met with derision has aged like a fine wine in the cellar of my horror collection, its flavors enriched by the passage of time. Now, it stands not as an interloper in the sacred halls of horror, but as a worthy companion piece, a reminder that even in the well-trodden snow of genre conventions, new tracks can always be made.

Whether ‘Silent Night’ becomes a staple of your December watchlist or remains a one-time curiosity, its journey is a compelling chapter in the story of horror remakes. It’s a chapter that asks us to reconsider our immediate judgments and to acknowledge the potential for growth in all cinematic endeavors.

In a world brimming with endless content and the daunting prospect of choice paralysis, ‘Silent Night (2012)’ has proven that sometimes the treasures we seek are hidden in plain sight, waiting patiently for us to look again. This film, once dismissed, has earned its stripes and stands ready for those willing to peer beyond its surface.

This holiday season, as you navigate the countless viewing options, consider revisiting the shadows of Christmases past. You may just find that ‘Silent Night (2012)’ is the gift that keeps on giving, a slasher that has sharpened its edge over time, ready to cut through the tinsel and nostalgia to reveal a heart pounding with the pure, unadulterated joy of horror.

And who knows? Perhaps in another decade, we’ll look back again with even fonder eyes, as ‘Silent Night (2012)’ continues to unwrap its legacy, year after blood-soaked year.

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