This is labelled as a comedy horror. I’m going to start by saying, this is neither funny or scary, in any way.

The official blurb for Silent Night is:

Nell, Simon, and their son Art are ready to welcome friends and family for what promises to be a perfect Christmas gathering. Perfect except for one thing: everyone is going to die.

It stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Roman Griffin Davis, Annabelle Wallis, Lily-Rose Depp, Sope Dirisu, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Lucy Punch. You may not know some of those names, but I thought it was a pretty good lineup.

It was written and directed by Camille Griffin, who is Roman’s mum and this that explains a lot. She’s only done shorts, from about 2003 up to 2013, now this. She seems to be a fairly competent director, as in, the film was directed. There’s nothing new here and nothing to stand out. The direction was just OK.

The writing is the real letdown. There are mild spoilers ahead, but most of it unfolds in the first act. Basically, there is a toxic cloud that is coming that will kill everyone in the UK (possibly the world). The government has issued everyone with Exit Pills, so they can ‘die with dignity since the cloud causes painful suffering before it finally kills you.

This was an interesting premise, a group of people, gathered together for one last supper and then all take their pills before the cloud kills them.

A better writer could have done many things with a script like this. I thought of Charlie Brooker, best known for the Black Mirror series. I think he always gives an amazing insight into the human psyche, he will make you laugh and think at the same time. Even someone like Taika Waititi did the same with Jojo Rabbit or Roberto Benigni with Life is Beautiful.

Silent Night didn’t make me laugh or think. The main characters are all well-to-do English folk, gathered in the family estate somewhere in middle England, so I didn’t identify with any of them. I can’t say I even liked any of them. I do like the cast, I think actors like Matthew Goode and Lucy Punch are very underrated and I always like seeing them. However, here, nothing. Goode plays Goode, as he does in about a dozen other movies. Punch plays Punch, again, as I’ve seen her before.

The rest of the cast is good and say their words well and sit or stand where they are supposed to.

The other issue I had right from the start was the swearing. I’ve said before, I don’t mind swearing in a movie, if someone gets shot, I don’t expect them to say:

“Oh my, I appear to have been shot and am bleeding from the belly. That really smarts!”

I’m not a fan of swearing unnecessarily, it’s fine in some places, or where it can be funny, but just swearing for a cheap laugh, I don’t find clever. I like a level of cleverness to writing something funny and just putting in swearing, doesn’t make me laugh.

Having the kids swearing, a lot, was just there for cheap laughs, it all seemed forced and fails as a joke. I was surprised at how much swearing Griffin Davis does, but since his mum was directing, I guess it was OK. Again, not to be a prude, but this just didn’t sit well with me.

It reminded me of Linda Blair in The Exorcist, she was young and she was put through a lot and said some pretty strong stuff. The difference is, The Exorcist is an incredible piece of work, that needed the script to be that strong and for Blair to say what she said etc. Silent Night is not an incredible piece of work and it just felt wrong.

Overall, I give Silent Night 1.5 out of 5. It was an interesting idea and well-acted, but overall, it was a big letdown and I gave up on the characters very early on, so the ending, meant nothing to me.

A real wasted opportunity, since with better writing, it could have made a great black comedy or an incredibly thoughtful drama. In the end, you have a bit of a mess of a movie, it tries to be funny, but didn’t really work. Then it tries to be heartfelt, but that didn’t really work either.

I wouldn’t watch it again. Also, Keira Knightley is a great actress, but she’s not all that. I don’t find her attractive… just had to get that said.

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