Silent Night, Deadly Night

Silent Night, Deadly Night Poster

Silent Night, Deadly Night was a horror movie released in 1984, and has since garnered a bit of a cult following.  Considering the Santa Claus slasher subject matter of this film, it had its staunch opponents back in 1984.  It did not do well at all with critics, many of which essentially hated it (like Siskel, Ebert, Leonard Maltin, and many others).  Still, the negative press probably helped it, considering that it did end up being a profitable movie.  There were two more sequels released in the 1980’s, and two more in the 1990’s.

 In the original movie, 5 year old Billy Chapman witnesses the murder of his parents by a man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit.  As Billy grows up in an orphanage, his scary thoughts about Santa Claus begin to fester, and he begins equating punishment with Santa Claus.  Years later, when he gets a job at a toy store, and he is asked to play Santa Claus at Christmas time, things get very bad for Billy.  After he finds the girl he likes being raped by a co-worker, Billy snaps.  He starts by killing the rapist, then the girl, then others he deems deserve to be punished by Santa.

 In the end, Billy makes his way to the orphanage to punish the people there.  Although the police are waiting for Billy, they end up killing another man dressed up as Santa Claus by accident, and Billy easily makes his way into the orphanage.  Just before he can kill the Sister that had punished him all those years, the police shoot and kill Billy.  However, the movie ends with Billy’s little brother seemingly taking up the future reigns of the Santa Claus killer.

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