This is the movie I most wanted to watch when I was a kid, for reasons that I can't really explain and elementary school guidance counselors are probably still discussing. Suffice it to say that I always liked horror movies, and something about Santa coming down the chimney to beef people with an ax really appealed to me. In my mind, it was the right combination of terrifying and hilarious, and the box art is truly a masterpiece of simplicity. The tagline is irrelevant -- I know what this movie is about, Tinseltown. No need to try to sell me on the details.
As you might have guessed, I was wrong. Somefuckinghow, I was totally wrong about Silent Night, Deadly Night. The first hour of the film is devoted to a meticulously detailed character study of a little boy who witnesses his parents get murdered by an armed robber in a Santa suit. I'm not kidding -- it begins with the incident, and then you watch the little boy gradually grow up in an orphanage and continue to suffer emotional and physical abuse at the hands of the nuns in charge. It's like a Darren Aronofsky film, only more disquieting and horrible.
"I'll beat that rage and hostile resentment out of you yet!"
He turns 18 and moves out to get a job at a toy store, and when the store manager asks him to play Santa, he finally snaps and goes on a killing spree with about 30 minutes left in the movie.
The box art wasn't totally misleading, because a man does dress up like Santa and go around killing people, but I was expecting Friday the 13th with Santa Claus instead of Jason. This is more like Taxi Driver if Travis Bickle had worked for the Salvation Army. It's this super intense psychological horror movie that randomly becomes a slasher film for the final third of its runtime.
And the guy never goes down anyone's chimney.
Tom is nowhere near as cool as the cover art would have you believe. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter.