The GBHBL Definitive Ranking of the Silent Night, Deadly Night Movie Series

A franchise that begun in 1984, the early success of the first film in the Silent Night, Deadly Night series spawned four official sequels. As well as a loose remake in 2012 and a fan-made entry referred to as Silent Night, Deadly Night 6.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd films all revolve around the brothers, Billy and Ricky. The former being the killer Santa in the first movie and the latter being the killer in the 2nd and 3rd movies. 1990’s Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation and 1991’s Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker would tell completely and unrelated stories.

It’s not a strong franchise however the original is something of a cult classic and often the ‘go-to’ Christmas horror for many. Perhaps more famous then even that is the infamous ‘garbage day’ line from the 1987 sequel.

We’ve had the pleasure of watching each and every one of the films including the 2012 loose remake. As well as the fan-made 6th film which we’ve decided to include here as part of our definitive ranking.

As always the order is decided by the original review rating and in the case of two films scoring the same, the position will be decided by which we’d rather watch again.

7 – Silent Night, Deadly Night – Part 2 (1987)

Our Score: 3/10

Well, it had to be didn’t it.

The sequel begins on Christmas Eve years after the first movie. Ricky, the younger brother of the first films killer is being held in a mental hospital. It seems that he has committed a series of murders with little motivation. While being interviewed by a psychiatrist Ricky tells the story of what his brother did in the first movie.

The film is 88 minutes long & the first 40 minutes is Ricky telling the story using flashbacks from the first movie. The first half of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is great because it pretty much shows everything that happened in the first.

After Ricky has recapped the entire first films plot, including memories he could never have had he tells the story of how he ended up in the hospital. Turns out he has a screw loose as well but his foster family never treated it even though they were good to him. After his foster father dies he goes a bit ‘off’ & ends up killing a few people who are deemed ‘naughty’.

Read our full review here.

6 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 6: Santa’s Watching (2010)

Our Score: 4/10

Now normally we wouldn’t review a fan-made movie but this 2010 release got our attention by calling itself Silent Night, Deadly Night 6: Santa’s Watching. A title like that implies it is an actual official entry in the series which it isn’t but then it is, kind of.

You see what we have here a short, super-low budget flick that continues the Billy/Ricky story-line of the first three movies. Not only that it has some funny tongue in cheek references to the series dotted throughout. Is it good? No, that’s the short answer. However, considering how poor the series has been since the original, this film fits right in.

Read our full review here.

5 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! (1989)

Our Score: 5/10

In an amazing turn of events, Ricky Caldwell (now played by Bill Moseley) did not die at the end of part 2. He has been comatose for six years & has had a glass dome affixed to his head to repair his damaged skull. A hell of a lot of effort for a killer.

Dr. Newbury (Richard Beymer) has been trying to contact Ricky by using a blind clairvoyant girl called Laura (Samantha Scully) to try reach out to him. While dreaming she sees the murders of Ricky’s parents (footage of the first film) & finds it very traumatic. Wanting to quit the experiment, Laura leaves to go spend time with her grandmother & brother over Christmas. This is when the mother of all conveniences happens.

A drunk & obnoxious Santa that had been visiting other patients wanders into Ricky’s room & starts insulting him. Ricky wakes up & even though he has been in a coma for 6 years, has the strength to kill Santa & a receptionist on his way out.

Ricky’s back & Christmas is about to get a little bloody.

Read our full review here.

4 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker (1991)

Our Score: 6/10

Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker copies the formula laid down by the previous film by being a stand-alone film. There are no connections to the story laid out in the first three films & just the oddest connection to the fourth.

The Toy Maker opens with a young boy named Derek (Thorne) seeing his father killed by a toy that comes to life. It ends up looking like an unfortunate accident but traumatises the boy into silence. His mother (Higginson), in an attempt to make him feel better, takes him to a toy store.

One run by Joe (Rooney) and his odd son, Pino (Bremer). His toys are special, toys that are hand-built but also have a murderous edge!

As a stand-alone movie, Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker is a solid enough movie. One with a fairly entertaining story & decent acting. It twists & turns keeping you in the dark right up until the ending which is quite effective. In fact, the ending is probably the best thing about the movie as it is deliciously dark.

Read our full review here.

3 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990)

Our Score: 7/10

The 4th movie in the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise is a complete departure from the continuous story of the first 3 films.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation drops the killer Santa stories of the previous films. Instead going with a witch related horror with very little actual Christmas links. In fact, the only link to the holiday really is the setting.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation is an impressive entry in the series even if it is basically a stand-alone horror film. Looking extremely 90s visually, it has a grimy feel helped by the great effects of Screaming Mad George. Known as Bugs in the UK, later parts of the movie deliver on this title & it’s gleefully disturbing to watch.

Read our full review here.

2 – Silent Night (2012)

Our Score: 8/10

Silent Night is a very loose remake of the famous Christmas horror Silent Night, Deadly Night. Very, very loose. It also takes points from the real life Covina Holiday Massacre that occurred in 2008.

In a small American town a killer Santa is on the loose. This Santa takes no prisoners, his methods are brutal & even children don’t stand a chance. The local Sheriff & his deputy are on the case but this psychotic Santa is able to hide in plain sight thanks to the annual Christmas parade.

Just who is this killer Claus & just why is he on this rampage?

Silent Night is a Christmas horror that mixes gory horror with Yuletide mayhem. The final result is a thrilling & entertaining watch that will please most horror nuts.

Read our full review here.

1 – Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Our Score: 8/10

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.

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.

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”.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 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.

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.

Read our full review here.


  • 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!