Silent Night, Deadly Night is a 1984 American slasher film that was directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr. , and stars Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Linnea Quigley, Britt Leach, and Leo Geter. Set during Christmas, the story concerns a young man, Billy, who suffers from post-traumatic stress over witnessing his parents’ Christmas Eve murder and his subsequent upbringing in an abusive Catholic orphanage. During adulthood, the Christmas holiday leads him into a psychological breakdown, and he emerges as a spree killer donning a Santa suit.
Released by TriStar Pictures on November 9, 1984, it is the first film in the Silent Night, Deadly Night film franchise, and has gained substantial controversy over its promotional material and content, which featured a killer Santa Claus. As a result, the film received negative reviews and was pulled out of theaters a week after its release. While successful during its opening week, the film was a moderate success with $2.5 million made overall. Since its release, the film has developed a cult following and was followed by four sequels (with the fourth and fifth installments having no connection to the film) and a loose remake that was released approximately 28 years later. This was the only film in the series to be distributed by a major movie distributor, let alone TriStar Pictures.
The Film Itself (4/5):
It’s been years since I’d last seen Silent Night, Deadly Night on any format, and when it was announced that Shout Factory was going to be releasing it on Blu-ray, I knew that I had to pick it up day one. While this movie isn’t anything great by any means, the overall movie is a really fun one; especially if you’re into the slasher genre. The story that we’re given with this movie is one that not only starts off really strong, but it is one that does an absolutely fantastic job at carrying itself throughout to the end.
Picture Quality (4.75/5):
Previously, Silent Night, Deadly Night was released by Anchor Bay in 2014 and it had a less than stellar video presentation according to those who were unfortunate and purchased it. That said, I have no experience with the previous release; but with Shout Factory releasing this copy, I certainly had high expectations. Presenting the film with an AVC encoded image, this release is sourced from a recent 4K scan of the original negative. The results of that fresh scan are absolutely phenomenal, providing a viewing experience that’s considerably sharp. Some of the most noticeable aspects of this release and its clarity are the facial shots of the cast. The overall colorization are absolutely refreshing, doing a beautiful job at handling the holiday colors. Things like the skin tones feel natural. There are some sequences where the expected amount of noise are more than visible, but it stems from the original source and my wife and I didn’t really find that they were getting in the way. The included unrated version of the film features that 4K scan, with its additional footage pulled from earlier sourced material. While Shout Factory did absolutely everything that they could to match the quality of that content to the new 4K scan, it is more obvious than not in a few of the spots where the material had been sourced elsewhere. Fortunately, Shout Factory does provide a little bit of a pre-warning at the beginning of the film as their search for the Extended Version of the film in the Sony vaults were unfortunately unsuccessful.
Audio Quality (4/5):
Packaged with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 audio track, Silent Night, Deadly Night not only offers a clean and clear audible experience for its viewers. While it’s not as immersive as some of us would like, the overall audio is really well done. The dialogue is clean and clear, as well as the escalation of panic as the slashing begins. The sounds of screams aren’t too painful to the ears, and the films musical score carries a pretty heavy synthesized experience. The sound effects are noticeable active, and do a really great job at contributing to the intensity of select sequences.
The Packaging (4/5):
Silent Night, Deadly Night comes packaged in your standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case. Within that case are two Blu-ray copies of the film, one being the standard theatrical version of the film and the other being the new unrated version of the film. The disc containing the theatrical version of the film features artwork that matches that of the original case art while the new unrated disc features the new artwork provided by Shout Factory. The case art, as expected with Shout Factory, is reversible. By default, it features the re-designed artwork from Shout Factory; while on the other side, it has the originally released artwork. There are no DVD copies included within this release, nor are there any digital copy redemption pamphlets. A slipcover has been provided during the initial print run of this release.
Special Features (4.5/5):
As expected with Shout Factory, there are a significant amount of special features included on both discs within Silent Night, Deadly Night. Both discs featuring something that offers a behind the scenes look into the film as well as some of the promotional material that was used during its initial release. Included with this release is:
- Theatrical Version
- Theatrical Trailer
- Television Spots
- VHS Trailer
- Radio Spot
- Unrated Version
- Slay Bells Ring: The Story of Silent Night, Deadly Night
- Oh Deer! An Interview With Linnea Quigley
- Christmas In July: Silent Night, Deadly Night Locations Then & Now
- Audio Interview With Director Charles E. Sellier, Jr.
- Santa’s Stocking Of Outrage
- Poster & Photo Still Gallery
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Original Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
1 movie, 2 cuts
Original Film: 82 minutes
I am beyond ecstatic that I picked up this particular Blu-ray release of Silent Night, Deadly Night. Shout Factory always does an absolutely fantastic job with their releases and this one is no exception to that sentiment. While some of the footage that had to be sourced from older material is somewhat noticeable, it didn’t cause any issues with the overall experience that this release provided. The picture and sound quality were absolutely fantastic in this release, and as expected, there’s a more than its fair share amount of special features included. If you’ve been on the fence about picking this release up, I would highly recommend that you get this one as soon as possible. The Shout Factory release of Silent Night, Deadly Night will be available from retailers beginning on December 5; otherwise, you can order it directly from Shout Factory and get it before then!