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  • Rev Horror

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2

Dir. Lee Harry (1987)

Ricky, the brother of the killer in the original film, talks to a psychiatrist about how he also became a Santa-clad serial killer.

I gotta be completely honest: I was seriously tempted to just copy and paste my review of Silent Night, Deadly Night onto this film as a sort of tongue-in-cheek jab at the events contained in the film. I don't know if there are enough people reading to even notice, but it's something that would have been funny to me, so even as I write this, I'm still considering it. However, unlike with the filmmakers behind Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, my professionalism drives me ever onwards to continuing to create new content regardless of how rehashed it may seem. And boy, is it rehashed.

Ricky Caldwell (Eric Freeman), the brother of the OG Santa killer Billy from Silent Night, Deadly Night, is being held in a psych ward after committing his own series of killings. As the psychiatrist tries to make sense of why he would do such heinous things, Ricky retells the story of the original film comprehensively, with an almost continual flashback until about the 40 minute mark in the film. By the time Ricky gets to his own crimes, the audience is treated to new Claus murders that take full advantage of the Christmas aesthetic to wreak holiday havoc in just about the hammiest way possible. Billy, erm... Ricky eventually escapes, of course, leading to the iconic and ridiculous "garbage day" line for which the movie is most known, delivered as he shoots a man who is, of course, taking out the trash.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is lazy filmmaking of the highest order. While it would be easy to consider this a detriment and leave it at that, take a moment to consider how truly insane this premise is. This is a film that is not even a complete movie, and in order to make it a complete movie, the filmmakers jammed in almost another complete movie to fill time! Even after we got a Claus-ception, the film still wasn't long enough to be feature-length, so the producers had to add almost ten full minutes of credits to pad the runtime. Now, you may want to check my math, but that series of events means that Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is only right around 30% of an actual, standalone film. The fact that it suffered all of these setbacks and became a cult classic despite all of this is just fucking crazy.

Unlike its predecessor, SN,DN2 is a truly terrible movie. Even its original scenes reek of stumbling, uncoordinated filmmaking. The action feels like it takes place within a dream, a dream in which Santa Claus stabs a man with an umbrella with such force that he is able to open the umbrella on the other side. A dream in which Kris Kringle shoots at a car and doesn't even bother to step out of the way as it careens into an eventual flip onto its hood. It's hilariously incompetent filmmaking, but at least it is hilarious. It's a movie that you truly have to see to believe, a SOV film that is unbelievably (and unfortunately) not SOV.

Regardless of the film's general inability to be a complete film, it's still relatively entertaining. It's holiday mayhem at its zaniest, with no attempt at making anything other than a memorably silly Christmas flick. Despite its many, many failures, it succeeds at this, especially in the legendary "garbage day" sequence. For a holiday with just as many movie misses as hits, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is an odd mixture of both. If all you're looking for is something red and green with some slashery elements, this one will be right up your alley. Maybe you'll be able to figure out how in the hell this got made at all, because I'm still flabbergasted.

Who this movie is for: Christmas horror stans, Slasher-ish fans, People who were only half paying attention to the first one

Bottom line: Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is the laziest horror sequel ever made, a combination of scenes from the first film and loosely fitting montages of murder from the hilarious Ricky. The acting is ludicrous, the camerawork is pure 80's cheese, and this is just a dumb as hell movie that's still wildly entertaining. The kills are decent, though, and that's really what you're here for anyway. This one is streaming on Shudder if you want to check it out this holiday season.

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