Saturday, 18 December 2010


Somehow unrelated to its three predecessors, Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 follows the story of a journalist named Kim who, upon learning of a recent case of spontaneous combustion, decides to launch an investigation into the subject. Desperate to get approval from her boss, she offers to run the story for him, but as usual is pushed to one side. “Boys will be boys,” asserts her straw-haired colleague, but Kim is undeterred and starts researching independently. While at a bookstore, she encounters the proprietor Fima, who takes her to the spot on the roof where the woman had died. Visiting Fima at her home proves to be a wrong move when she passes out and subsequently wakes up to a visceral initiation ceremony involving rats and cockroach larvae.

The theme of Christmas has apparently been waylaid here, with only scant references to religion and the Bible to explain the festive setting. For the most part, director Brian Yuzna gives us gruesome insects with sexual overtones and sham pagan rituals in lieu of a story, Kim’s draw to the pathologically sinister Fima too obscure to be believable. Nonetheless, this fourth instalment in a famously tacky horror series is remarkably entertaining, with some godawful dialogue and subpar acting. Clint Howard, the physiognomically-challenged brother of director Ron Howard, portrays a creepy vagrant named Ricky (most likely a high point in his career), while former Bond girl Maud Adams is hilariously rigid as Fima. Naked Lunch it ain’t, but there’s fun to be had.

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