Silent Night, Deadly Night: Review

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So it is already November and like me you are probably already fed up with the myriad of decorations and displays that seemingly erect themselves overnight. I mean, come on! Christmas is a long way off. Halloween was less than a week away and there were already Christmas drinks at Starbucks and a full on display of all things festive in John Lewis. As annoying as it all seems, there are three things that I absoluteley love abut this time of year. The food, and sudden influx of cranberry sauce in to every chain restaurant; the presents of course; and Christmas Horror.

I think it all started many years ago when I saw the Jack Frost film but i’m not going to recommend that you watch that, what the hell, go wild.  This Christmas we are getting treated to ‘Krampus’, a horror-comedy about what happens when children are bad. It’s based on German folklore and genuinely looks like it could be a lot of fun. Naturally, I was reading up on it, only to notice a film that held similarities.

That film was ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’ and it follows a serious of events that occur when a family is butchered on their journey one Christmas. I will not lie to you, I wasn’t expecting much from the 1984 production but it ticked most of the boxes. I think it was refreshing to watch because it did not try to employ the same principles that hold back a lot of films in the genre.

The film focuses on our protagonist, Billy, who survives the families slaughter and becomes a resident at an orphanage. We watch him grow and witness deep character traits throughout the duration of the film, which does a great job of creating a sense of empathy; we actually start to sympathise towards the character.

Billy is a poor kid who has lost everything and has never really recovered from the horrors that he saw. Mother Superior, the head of the orphanage, is a great propellant when it comes to the filmmaker evoking the mentality of Billy. His fear of Santa stems from an opening scene when his grandfather tells him that naughty children will be punished; this is something that clearly stays with him.

The film moves along and Billy grows in to a young man. He seems to be liked by everyone and is portrayed as a hard working and sensitive person. The owner of the toy store that he works at dresses him up as Santa to cover for someone who is sick. At the edge of reason, Billy begins to drink and the night goes South.

I have already given a fair bit away but even so, this must be watched in order to appreciate the character that has been created. Often, horror films fail to flesh out the characters because they know that they will probably be killed off within the hour but this is a mistake that ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’ does not seem to make.

The script is passable and I never really found myself asking questions like, “why the hell would he do that?!” It seems like a lot of thought went in to this film and it is conveyed on the screen throughout. Whether you want to watch a horror film for a bit of fun or are looking for something to watch as a serious scare, this film should be a suitable candidate.

I read after that there is a multitude of sequels and it goes up to at least part 5, which seems to star the same protagonist. There was also a 2012 remake which I may check out at some point.

All in all, this was a lot of fun to watch. The runtime came in at about 80 minutes, meaning that it was a bit on the short site, but the film did not suffer from it. It is a somewhat unconventional film but one that I do not regret watching.

Christmas horror to enjoy for all.

6/10

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Silent Hill Live: Review

  
So.. I’m going to begin by telling you that my opinion is probably not the same as the majority of people who went along to the show. I was sceptical of the venue before I even laid eyes on it – it lived up to everything I didn’t want it to be. 

  
Sure it looked the part; the concrete walls of an underground warehouse surrounding  an eager crowd, two contorted nurses who looked and acted the part that they were reprising and a 7 foot tall pyramid-head dragging his huge sword behind him as he scared the soul out of innocent attendees. That was as far as the positive aura went for me.

  
 We had arrived at 18:30 for the 19:00 showtime that was stated on the ticket only to read a sign that shared the news that the doors would not open until 19:00. We were then placed in a queue where we would stand in the freezing cold for 15 minutes. As fast as you can say *?$#, a security guard trudged over and informed us that the queue was moving to the other side of the door where we were forced to join a queue of probably 100 people who got there after us. By now i was so annoyed that I couldn’t even appreciate the fog that had enveloped London in the same manner as it does Silent Hill. F**k off fog.

  
Closer inspection of the signage made us further aware that the show would not start until 20:15 and there would be a ‘live DJ’ until then. I never saw this guy but if he was responsible for the randomly mashed up game and horror music that echoed across the shabby venue, then he can go and join the fog and cold in Hell. 

I mean, I was pretty annoyed already but then I found myself paying nearly £15 pound for half a 200ml bottle of Diet Coke and a vodka and red bull (half can too). Was I in a London strip club? I’m pretty sure it was a Hackney Basement. 

Please bear in mind that all of this was before I realised that Silent Hill live consisted of Akira and co on a stage the size of a hotel balcony. The stage was actually shoved in to an alcove that meant that nobody that wasn’t at the front could see it which added to my hatred of it all.

The venue made for poor sound quality and the woman who was singing the main vocals couldn’t sing her lines correctly anyway. Everyone was cheering around me and I was truly amazed at people’s ignorance to acknowledge this half-assed attempt at a gig; It lasted for just over an hour and cost £30 a ticket; You honestly couldn’t see the screen or the stage due to the general layout of the venue. I have yet to see any pictures online which I can only assume means that nobody else saw anything either.

I would also like to add that the t-shirts being sold for £20 were generic primark tees with tour dates printed on them. It all just seemed like a huge money making scheme and this was largely due to the venue letting it down. 

They sure as hell stayed open for two hours after the performance to maximise profit at the bar. No problem, I left before the encore and opted to stand in the cold waiting for my friend rather than stay in the venue – I was truly disappointed at everything. 

Later, I looked at the venue they had used for the extra date they had added for London on the tour. Is this actually a joke.. 

  
I’m sure that given a nicer venue and a lot more effort this could be incredible but I honestly do not see how anyone can give this show a good review unless they are lying to themselves or were blind drunk. 

I would not recommend that anybody travel to Hackney and pay the amount that I did for little over an hour of entertainment.

Poor show.

Post-Birthday Fun and My journey in to Silent Hill

  
Today is supposed to be the worst day of the year; the day after the birthday – I am sure that this will all change as I grow with age though. There are a whole 364 days until my birthday and ignoring Christmas, I can’t imagine feeling as great as I did yesterday when I unwrapped a custom Zelda painted Nintendo64 and the games to go with it; a lot of other awesome stuff was given to me as well so a massive thanks to my Mum too. A trip to a local retro-game store is looking likely as I prepare for the thing that will make this post-birthday better than any other.

Tonight is Silent Hill Live at the Laundry in Hackney. I’m pretty sure that I have less chance of returning alive from Hackney than I do Silent Hill so wish me luck as I make my journey in to hell. 

It should be a good one; I am sure that the talents of Akira Yamaoka and co will more than make sure of it! You can expect a nice long review on Monday because I already know that I will have a lot to say about the show.

That’s it; only a short one for now. I would stay and chat but I have my eye on a few N64 classics and will be inconsolable if somebody beats me to them.