A man inherits a big creepy house that has been empty for many years, but was at one time a mental hospital. Meanwhile a killer is hiding in the property, wearing black gloves, making unsettling telephone calls and luring people to their deaths.
The print of this film that made it to the DVD is not a good one, with muffled sound and poor picture quality. Having said that, the film itself wasn't the best quality to begin with - it has clearly been done on a tight budget, which is reflected in the camera work, the acting and some of the script. It's also a little heavy on the use of narration to move the plot forward.
Despite all that, what it does offer is a cracking story, with dark, disturbing secrets, and a couple of big surprise revelations towards the end. The killings are more brutal than I would have expected in a film of this age. In terms of gore they aren't as graphic as later films, but they are still violent and shocking. Music is used well, particularly the tune of 'Silent Night', which becomes a recurring theme throughout the movie. And some of the scenes are genuinely tense and atmospheric - particularly in the final act.
When I started watching Silent Night Bloody Night, I admit I thought I'd be watching a cheapy exploitation flick, that might be good for some unintentional laughs. But if you can get your head around the film's shortcomings, the end result is surprisingly entertaining. I actually enjoyed the movie as a horror thriller in the end, rather than a cheesy bad film. Though it's still far from perfect, this was much better than I was expecting. 3.5/5