Silent Night movie poster

Silent Night

In theaters December 1, 2023

Rated

104 minutes

Directed by:

Starring: ,

Silent Night (2023) is the kind of movie we expected to be made in the ’90s because racism based on stereotypes was still considered cool and no one knew any better.

If you think I care that you might see spoilers in this review, then you completely underestimate my utter contempt for this movie.

Brian Godlock (Joel Kinneman), representing IMPOTENT MALE RAGE FOREVER, plots against the gang operating in his neighborhood. In the crossfire of a drive-by shooting, his son, unnamed because “McGuffin” is too on the nose, is killed. Taking matters into his own hands, as one does when one’s testicles are filled with audacity and Dirty Harry movies, his attempts to chase down the perpetrators only result in being cornered, injured, and shot at close range in the throat, rendering him mute and paralyzed.

Over the course of his months-long and self-guided rehabilitation (you know, from being in a coma), he relearns to walk, bulks up using kettlebells he found in the garage, and focuses solely on planning the executions of the men he feels are responsible for his condition. He keeps calendars, charting his meticulous process that will bring him closer to what prosecutors would undoubtedly call “premeditated mass murder”, or at the very least, multiple hate crimes. He ignores his wife (Catalina Sandino Moreno), offering her nothing but silent hateful glares. Remembers, when men suffer, everyone else can kick rocks, because no one else’s feelings matter, especially those of the mother of his dead child.

He plots his revenge to do what the police cannot: canceling a suspect’s right to due process. Using money we can only assume came from his long-term disability fund, or maybe his dead kid’s college fund, he buys illegal guns, an unregistered Mustang (the choice of domestic terrorists everywhere) and spends eight months not going to therapy or grief counseling.

What did we learn from Silent Night?

Mostly director John Woo is devoid of original ideas but has clearly decided to pander to the subset of immature fans that believe the only way to get satisfaction is to shoot up multiple locations under the gritty city lights, no matter the collateral damage.

Like the surprising alien-thriller, No One Will Save You (2023), there is no dialog in Silent Night but who needs a script with dialog when you’re just going to rehash every bad cop/gangland war movie ever made? Why waste time learning lines? It would take precious time away in the sound booth looping gurgling death rattles.

While I honor the hard work and effort put into this film by the stunt drivers, pyrotechnics crew, armory, and actors who could have been teaching high school drama, this is easily the dumbest movie I have ever seen. It’s a Gary Stu John Wick fantasy acted out by a suburban dad in a reindeer sweater. Silent Night isn’t even dumb fun. It’s beyond toxic and a slog to watch. Coming from John Woo, you have to wonder if he lost a bet.

I suppose if you could suspend belief long enough to believe a “nice guy” could make the kinds of contacts to buy a trunk of illegal weapons, learn how to ride a motorcycle, practice evasive maneuvers in an abandoned factory, and manage to not get turned in by his wife who watches her husband buy a Mustang and not acquire a mistress, then maybe this is the movie for you.

Maybe you should get outside and touch some grass.

Silent Night is loud shooting with gross angry white guy nonsense, complete with handing over wads of cash for weapons and obtaining Kevlar from Amazon (probably, who knows where it came from), all to spend Christmas Eve alone fulfilling a death wish. There’s nothing clever or charming about any of the characters and without dialogue to understand how lost anyone is, and everyone, but especially Brian, only looks like hardened murderers who eventually get what they deserve. Silent Night is the definition of toxic.

After last year’s fun holiday action-horror, Violent Night (2022) I was really hoping Silent Night would be the same kind of over-the-top silliness taking on the kind of generic bad guys we can all get behind – like Nazis, evil corporations, and black ops mercenaries. Instead, Woo delivers 104 minutes of bullets, bodies, and lazy stereotypes. This is what everyone was waiting for?

Silent Night is the kind of movie manifestos will be referencing to justify mass shootings.

Silent Night is the kind of movie that’s considered a red flag if a potential date has it on his “best of” list.

Silent Night is a deep disappointment.

Silent Night (2023) is rated R for people getting shot. A lot. That’s it, that’s the movie.

Silent Night is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: MontiLee Stormer
MontiLee Stormer is a writer of horror, dark and urban fantasy. She’s also is a troublemaker, concocting acts of mayhem and despair for her own selfish pleasure. An avid movie watcher, she prefers horror but will see just about anything if you're buying. Poltergeist (1982) is her favorite movie and she actively hates The Shining (1980) due to its racism, misogyny, the butchering of the source material. She could host a TEDtalk on this single subject. Writing about herself in the third person is just a bonus.

Comments

  1. Ugh. This critic is truly bitter and thinks movies need to idk what exactly ?? Have a point ? Not be violent ? Be more PC and more woke ? Idk. She (I think) is enough to make me actively boycott this site and its advertisers.

  2. God, this movie. Two weeks after seeing it I’m still thinking about how bad it was. I’m flummoxed by every positive review.
    “Woo delivers 104 minutes of bullets, bodies, and lazy stereotypes.”
    Even this sentence feels charitable considering the 80+ min stretch of absolutely nothing. No character development, no action. But I suppose some stereotypes were spliced into that section.

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