Let me get this out of the way. I had not seen the original "Silent Night, Deadly Night" until last week. I am a huge horror fan and this one kind of slipped under my radar. The original is by itself pretty bad. The acting is bad and any shades of a good horror movie are lost in the mess of bad acting and nonsensical plot. This movie attempt to rectify the problems with the original by establishing a much simpler storyline. The kills are there for sure. The practical effects are for the most part pretty good. It's a welcome sign to see a horror film that attempts to take full advantage of the advances in practicals. There are some cool callbacks to the original and its sequel while at the same time the film separates itself from the original series. The major issue with the film is that it's just not very exciting. Kills happen, and they are cool, but there is just no tension built. Even though the storyline has been slimmed down compared to the original, it feels like they missed a lot of opportunities to develop some three-dimensional characters. Everyone is just kind of there. Malcolm McDowell is the weakest part of the movie. I'm not sure when he decided to start playing every character the same, but his crazy old man routine is getting stale. Jamie King is mostly okay. We really don't much of a back story on her character and her eventual transformation is kind of out of left field. Donal Logue is probably the best thing in the movie, but his character is also just another throw in. It's a weird movie because it looks professional enough to be a wide release movie, but the holes in the film are just too wide to overcome. All and all it's a fine rental if you have 90 minutes to waste, but it certainly doesn't break any new ground. The original is certainly not hallowed ground. It's the kind of movie that just begs to be remade. I'm fine with what we ended up with. This isn't The Exorcist, The Thing, or Halloween so I'm not going to go off the deep end over a classic being remade.
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