Ho-ho-horror, everyone! M.L. Miller aka the @$$hole formerly known as Ambush Bug here. Continuing the countdown fun, I’ve decided to finally compile a list of the Best Holiday Horror Movies this December. Some of these films can be found in theaters, but others have unfortunately only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews where you can check these films out as thoroughly as I can.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, there’s no real method to my special brand of madness. Having seen quite a few holiday horrors, I simply have been keeping a list and checking it more than twice throughout the year. I’ll be counting down every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday through December to my favorite holiday horror film of the year. I’m sure there are some that I’ve missed, overlooked, or simply haven’t seen yet, but that will leave leftovers to cover in upcoming Decembers
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own damn list…let’s go!
#4 SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT #4
Why is SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT #4? Because this grindhousey horror film not only has a compelling story and a lead actress that delivers a performance that rivals Jamie Lee Curtis’ take on the final girl in HALLOWEEN, but because watching this film just makes you feel like you’re watching something naughty. Given the fact that this film is grainy and viewed through all kinds of filters, it just feels like you’re getting away with something by watching it. That adds an extra layer of flavor to an already potent blend of horror in SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT. You can find it here on Amazon here!
SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (1974)
Directed by Theodore Gershuny
Written by Theodore Gershuny, Jeffrey Konvitz, & Ira Teller
Starring Patrick O’Neal, James Patterson, Mary Woronov, John Carradine, Walter Abel, Philip Bruns
Man, this is one creepy as hell film. I most definitely wasn’t expecting creeps and chills of this level when I popped SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT into the disk player. Sure the concept of an unseen killer stalking a soon to be sold house is not exactly fresh, but from the grainy way this was filmed to the various camera techniques toyed with, SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT is one of my favorite all time holiday horror films.
The killer in SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT is kept a secret throughout most of the film and the film does fall a few ranks for its somewhat conventional unmasking scene towards the end. A lot of exposition sort of bogs this film down in the final moments, but the chills leading up to it are genuinely scary. The phone plays a major part in the scares as the killer calls his victims to come out to the house, posing as someone they know. And as the mystery deepens, it turns out the townsfolk in this quiet town might know more than one would think.
Genre actress Mary Woronov plays a decent final girl with all of the screams well yodeled. Though this isn’t one of her more meatier roles, she does play the part of final girl rather well and offers up all of the requirements in a film that was made long before the rules of the final girl were established in HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH. The rest of the cast is great as well as Patrick O’Neal plays a possible buyer for the residence where all of the evil takes place and John Carradine plays one of the creepy townsfolk, warning his about the house’s insidious past.
The highlight of SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT for me was the fantastically grainy style the film was shot in. Extreme close-ups, stuttered and staggered images, freeze frames, the relatively new POV camera usage, and all kinds of other camera tricks are mostly all successful in causing its audience a sense of unease. I went in expecting nothing from this film and was blown totally away by it. SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT is a film worth seeking out and the perfect wicked treat for this holiday season.
If you like what I said above, help me out and click on the link to buy it on Amazon here!!!
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#13 – THE HORROR NETWORK V.1 “Merry Little Christmas” segment
#12 – STALLED
#11 – CUENTO DE NAVIDAD
#10 – A CHRISTMAS HORROR STORY
#9 – THE BLACKCOAT’S DAUGHTER
#8 – TALES FROM THE CRYPT 1972 “And All Through the House…” segment
#7 – THE CHILDREN
#6 – SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT
#5 – BETTER WATCH OUT
#4 – SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT
M.L. Miller goes by many names—Ambush Bug, Mark L. Miller, hey you jerk over there! He’s an original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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