Wilford Butler returns home on Christmas Eve and his house had been turned into a mental institution for the criminally insane. But the day of his return, he is set on fire and dies. The towns people believe his death was an accident, and the institution-house is later closed down. Wilford leaves the house to his grandson Jeffrey. A few years later, Jeffrey finally decides to sell this grandfather's house, but the towns people including the Mayor have mixed feelings on keeping people away from the house, especially when a serial killer escapes from another institution and finds refuge there. The killer makes frightening phone calls and kills anyone coming near the house. But what does the killer have in common with what happened to Wilford Butler years before? Written by
The house used for the Butler Mansion still stands in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. See more »
Main character Jeffrey Butler is riding with John Carradine, who plays Towman. Butler and Carradine have decided to go out to the Butler house to see what is going on. Instead, Towman pulls into the drive of another house, and Jeffrey Butler says, "Towman this isn't my house, it's Tess'. Tess is another of the townspeople, and it is her house, but Jeffrey would not have known that because he has never been to the town before. See more »
Uneven performances, convoluted and clever storyline, dark and gory
The delightful Mary Woronov stars as a witness to some very grisly goings-on at the gorgeous old Butler House. The house has been abandoned since the death of the family patriarch Wilfred, about 20 years ago. Now, a member of the family, Jeff (James Patterson), has returned to sell the house off. (Patterson - dying of cancer during the filming of Silent Night Bloody Night - gives a depressive, menacing and bizarre performance, which works quite well here). There is an inexplicable amount of local concern about the house, and soon, the reasons begin to reveal themselves.
Some of the acting in this film is quite poor, and there are rather immense problems with believability and plot holes galore. Nevertheless, this ambitious and complex film deserves attention for its clever storyline and affective (if annoying) low light photographic technique. There is too much voice-over, but without it, comprehending the plot might be impossible. The film is alternately engaging and tedious, largely depending on who is on screen.
All-around, for an axe-murder film, Silent Night Bloody Night is surprisingly subtle, clever and well directed. Recommended for horror fans.
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