Movie commercials offer us a great service; they not only show us which upcoming movies look good, but also which ones to avoid. And if one looks closely, they often reveal more than intended about the film in question. In honor of this profound art, I give you TRAILER TRACKS, an examination of upcoming movie commercials: What they say, what they don’t say, and what they say on accident about the product being sold to you, the excited chump.
Silent Night (Dir. Steven C. Miller)
Every year that goes by without a killer Santa Claus movie is one year too many. We’re talking about a fat bearded hermit who annually comes uninvited into your house to pass judgement on your behavior. He’s basically a pre-death version of God, which must make him the Devil. How are there not slasher films about this guy once a week?
The Set up:
This trailer uses a drunken, beardless Santa Claus to set up its exposition, which plays on an urban legend angle. Supposedly, each year a guy dressed as Santa Claus comes to a new town and kills people who he judges as naughty. This is all being told to a pretty lady cop, which is fitting because on the other side of this killer Santa equation lay Malcolm McDowell’s small town police force.
But this trailer isn’t trying to set up the story. It’s all about teasing the Santa Claus. And this Santa Claus has a flame thrower. He also likes to electrocute people and throw axes at the camera in a very 3D manner despite this not being a 3D film. Furthermore, we get hints that he’s going to throw one lady into a wood chipper. Consider me sold.
It’s very difficult to tell what kind of plot we’re going to get with this one. As I mentioned before, the trailer gives pretty much every non-Santa moment to police officers, so Malcolm McDowell and the pretty deputy will likely provide this film’s biggest mover and shakers.
But I have a hard time believing there’s not some extra reason why Santa has chosen this particular town and these particular victims. If it really is the whole urban legend thing, that would be pretty cool. But I smell an ulterior motive off this Santa. I think I even see some ‘flashback’ coloring in a couple of these scenes. Maybe the killer saw a Santa Claus kill and rape his parents. Maybe he just got de-pansed by a jock on Christmas Eve. Maybe his mom bought him a Super Nintendo when he clearly asked for a Sega Genesis. Whatever it was, I have a strong feeling this attack isn’t just random evil.
You have to look sharp, but the trailer kind of gives away the ending. Watch closely and you’ll catch a glimpse of a Christmas parade starring none other than Jack Frost and The Gingerdead Man. I can’t say for sure whether they team up with Santa to take over the world or team up against him for hogging all the holiday murders. Either way, this will be one third act worth remembering.
With Jack Frost, The Gingerdead Man, and Santa Claus running around, Malcolm McDowell clearly finds himself outmatched. I predict he will go evil as well, since it’s mathematically impossible for Malcolm McDowell to play a good guy. (Hey! I just came up with another theory why the Santa Claus might be killing people!)
So that leaves the pretty deputy lady to kill all these bad guys and save Christmas. Perhaps she will do it with the help of fellow Christmas cops John McClane and Martin Riggs. Or maybe she’ll have to settle for help from the other Jack Frost. You know, the one voiced by Michael Keaton.
Silent Night is one Deadly Night away from being a remake, and I’m fine with that. The inclusion of Malcolm McDowell brings to mind the Halloween remakes, while the part where Evil Santa camouflages himself with nice Santas makes me think of the awesome (and atrocious) Reindeer Games. It seems like this was made with a good mind for what sells a fun adulteration of Holiday cheer, and I’m all for that.
Whether it’s good or not will come down to the kills. And also how awesome the Santa, Jack Frost, and Gingerdead Man team up turns out. Hopefully they got Garey Busey to reprise his iconic role. Otherwise, we might get his Gingerdead Man confused with a non-cannon version.
If nothing else, Silent Night is already to be better than Rare Exports just with this trailer alone. So there’s that.