Friday, November 9, 2012

SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT, movie review by Travis Hedge Coke




If this movie’s brilliance is intentional, its makers would be lost geniuses entirely due greater recognition and accolades. As is, I suspect the film is accidentally amazing. Silent Night, Bloody Night has some of the most claustrophobic mise en scene I believe I have ever encountered, brilliant use of foley, of cutting in-scene sound and visual separately, and the washed out look of the entire movie is astonishing and entrancing. I don’t know if a clean copy of the movie exists, but the blemishes and jitters littering the visual make it better, so I hope there is not. This movie, in the versions I have seen, appears to be almost tearing apart at a cellular level. Too much light and time have weathered an already weak substance, etheric, and even watching a digital copy it feels as if the celluloid might snap at any moment, that this movie could become irretrievable in any instant.

Not bad for a thriller with a mysterious mansion, a dead old patriarch, an escaped lunatic killer, and the casual sinners of the silver screen sort cavorting the night before Christmas, yeah? Imagine Gore Vidal and Frederico Fellini teaming to produce a haunted house picture, a revenge movie, a cursed and troubled film, Amidst coldly washed out or incredibly dark scenes, there is the lush transition, the delicate performance of the competent performance, and even the unsubtle judder one gets as a piece of dialogue is placed at the wrong part of a scene or the music begins in earnest too late. Intensely a mad piece of work.

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