Horror Movie Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

There have been more than enough Christmas themed horror movies to last a lifetime but very few good ones. The problem lies in the plot most of the time; they all seem to revolve around some form of killer Santa. You can read last year’s top 10 Christmas themed horrors here.

This was the No.1 movie on that list because it’s not only a great Christmas horror, it’s a great horror movie, full stop.

Billy is on his way to visit his grandparents on Christmas Eve with his mother, father & brother. The grandparents are in a home & not doing so well & when Billy is left alone with Grandpa, things start to go wrong. Normally catatonic old Gramps decides to start talking now, he freaks Billy out by telling him that Santa punishes naughty children & warning him to run away as fast as he can from Santa.


As luck would have it on the way home that night Billy’s parents pull over to help a broken down Santa who promptly kills them & tries to kill the boys. They both manage to escape into the woods though.

Santa Murders

Years later Billy & his brother are both living at an orphanage. It is not a happy place & Mother Superior rules with an iron fist. After Billy is sent to his room for drawing Santa killing his reindeer he sees an older boy & girl starting to have sex. The duo is caught & Billy witnesses Mother Superior beating them with a belt. She tells Billy that naughty children are punished & that punishment is good. She forces Billy to agree with her & later beats him for having a nightmare.

Billy’s situation gets worse as he is forced to sit on Santa’s lap, reacts badly & breaks Santa’s nose.

Billy Trouble

The movie now jumps to Billy as a young adult who has a got a job at a department store. He seems to be doing ok; he is friendly & seemingly happy except for his disturbing dreams. Problems begin to arise as Christmas approaches & Billy is forced to play the store Santa Claus. He has a tough job doing it & ends up threatening children with punishment.

After the store Christmas party Billy finds that the co-worker he likes getting raped by another co-worker. Billy intervenes, kills him & then kills her having finally snapped…“punishment is good”.

Billy Hammer

Billy’s mind has gone & he is convinced he is Santa Claus out to punish the naughty in the most violent way possible.

Awesome, huh?

The amount of controversy that this movie stirred up is staggering…had it not used a killer dressed as Santa it would have just been another slasher horror gone unnoticed. It’s a fascinating read & I’m always blown away by skewed morals of those who got bent out of shape by the movie.

Santa More Murders

Beyond that it’s a great movie with good acting mostly & a convincing plot. Showing all the things that have happened to Billy made his transformation so much believable. He was never going to escape his fate as long as Christmas was around. You also can’t help but have sympathy for Billy…he is a product of other peoples actions.

One of the most enjoyable things about Silent Night, Deadly Night is the unique & inventive deaths. A hanging with Christmas lights, a claw-hammer to the head, an arrow fired through the heart, the classic axe & my favourite, impalement with the antlers of a trophy deer.


Bloody amazing stuff…

The movie does look its age though & the unnecessary sequel bait ending spoilt things a little. There have been 4 sequels to date now as well.

If you’re going to make a Christmas slasher film, this is how you do it. One of the best on the market & filled with controversy to boot.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Silent Night, Deadly Night
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