Whilst Silent Night, Deadly Night, is just about passable, the sequel is pretty awful. It’s biggest mistake is that it takes almost half of its run-time – forty of the ninety minutes – rehashing the first film. The story joins a now grown-up Ricky who has followed in his late brother’s murderous ways. He’s been captured by the police and is giving his family’s life story to his doctor. His story comes complete with flashbacks, or more specifically clips from the first film, as Ricky takes the time to recount every single event from it. It plays like a Simpsons clip show episode crossed with an extended “previously on Silent Night, Deadly Night” and is excruciating to watch if you’ve previously seen the first film. The footage is obviously used to keep the costs of the sequel down; rather than having to fund a full ninety minutes the team only had to generate fifty minutes of new material. It’s a massive misstep though as the primary audience for a sequel is someone that has already seen the original. The inclusion of the, essentially streamlined, first film is extremely frustrating to get through.
Once through, we get to Ricky’s own story as he links us from his end of first film chant of ‘naughty’ to his incarceration. These stories are filled with some excellent over-the-top deaths, one involving an umbrella being a particular highlight, and so it’s a shame that it takes so long to get to them. By the time they appear, the film has lost so much momentum and viewer interest that it’s hard to truly engage with it. Were it to start from the forty minute mark then we might have something more deserving of attention. This sequel takes much longer than it’s predecessor to get going, but still offers some genuinely entertaining moments, sadly though this instances are fleeting and thin on the ground.
Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is out to own now.
This review was first published on THN.