Silent Night, Bloody Night Poster

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)

Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Rayting:   5.4/10 4.1K votes
Country: USA
Language: English
Release date: November 17, 1972

A man inherits a mansion which once was a mental home. He visits the place and begins to investigate some crimes that happened in old times, scaring the people living in the region.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

moonspinner55 15 February 2015

East coast manor, once used by its owner as an asylum before his mysterious death by fire, is about to be sold during the Christmas holiday by the grandson of the deceased; someone on the grounds, armed with an ax, doesn't like that idea. Demented horror outing with some interesting visual ideas, some brutal killings, a chilly, shuddery ambiance, scary music and creaking doors--but no talent behind the camera for narrative or character motivation. Director Theodore Gershuny, working from a screenplay by Ira Teller and Jeffrey Konvitz (the same Konvitz who later wrote "The Sentinel"), uses subjective camera-tracking (innovative for the genre at the time) and sepia-toned flashbacks to create a skin-crawling mood. This works for a while until the poorly-formed 'plot' comes to the fore, and the viewer soon realizes the hat-tricks by Gershuny were just window-dressing and that the finale isn't going to live up to expectations. *1/2 from ****

ma-cortes 4 October 2021

Terror flick containing eerie events , dark atmosphere , gory effects, and high body-count . The film is a fair murder mystery in which at an isolated location a series murderous goes around to slice up as well as hack people who are relentlessly butchered . Here takes place several grisly murders between towners and other inhabitants carried out by a strange murderer . As an escaped lunatic terrorizes a small New England town , particularly a house that was once an insane asylum . A man called Jeffrey inherits a mansion which once was a mental home . A few years later , Jeffrey (James Petterson dead at 40) finally decides to sell this grandfather's house , and a real state businessman (Patrick O'Neal) and his girlfriend (Astrid Heeren's last feature film , though she only starred three movies) arrive in the mansion to sell it , but the towns people including the Mayor (Walter Abel) have mixed feelings on keeping people away from the mansion , while a killer on loose carries out an extreme slaughter . For one night in each century , the devil controls the heavens...and earth becomes an inferno of horrors! The night earth became an inferno of horrors! . The mansion... the madness... the maniac... no escape.

Terrifying and scary horror movie in which a serial killer escapes from a mental institution causing chaos , destruction and a lot of killings . It displays a confusing plot dealing with non-sense murders and an inheritance wished by corrupt people , ambitious people , incest , and investment speculators into selling mansion . Not great , but well done terror thriller with mysterious events , some nail-biting suspense and slick scene changes . The classy plot about a criminally insane man executing a criminal spree with unexpected consequences , while scaring the people living in the region . Stars a decent cast as the early deceased James Patterson who died of cancer several months after , here playing the heir who begins to investigate some crimes happened in old times , he played along with the gorgeous Astrid Heeren and Patrick O´Neal in The Castle Keep (1969) by Sidney Pollack . And Mary Woronov who performed various cult movies for her second husband Paul Bartel and two veterans actors of long career as Walter Abel and horror myth John Carradine. There's a thorny discussion about if this Silent Night , Bloody night (1972) results to be the first slasher , while others considering Black Christmas (1974) by Bob Clark . In fact , the picture is regarded as being one of the first slasher films , being actually the first : A Bay of Blood (1971) by Mario Bava , though others as Psycho (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock , and Peeping Tom (1960) by Michael Powell had already established the seed of this popular sub-genre .

This classic terror picture was professional and strangely directed by Theodore Gershuny (1933-2007) with vivid images , though very sinister at times and abounding night , dark scenes . Theodore was married to Mary Woronov who here has a main and well played role . Theodore Gershuny was a writer and director, who wrote and directed a few films , being especially known for Tales from Darkside , Stephen King's Golden Tales (1985) , Monsters (1988) and Sugar Cookies (1973 , ) Kemek (1970). Rating : 6.5/10. Decently made and original terror movie . The motion picture will appeal to terror genre enthusiasts.

Hitchcoc 10 January 2007

It's a little hard to watch, with it's grainy textures and darkness. With darkness, there is threat, but there is also a sense of myopia. Things are set up pretty well. That house is evil. Something inexplicable has taken place at some time in the past. Anyone who stays in the house is going to pay for it. People can't leave well enough alone. The idea is to tear down or burn down the place, but those involved in that process, can't seem to get it done. A real estate agent has the goods, but can't resist having a tryst with a young woman, both of whom become cannon fodder. It has a sort of dated quality, since it's a seminal work in the slasher genre. Right now the seventies to modern viewers would be like the silent era to people living in the fifties. Still, there is a lot of jumping out and attacking, and it keeps one on the edge of one's seat.

Leofwine_draca 19 June 2014

I love discovering new-to-me American horror flicks of the 1970s. These independent, backwoods-shot productions usually showcase some then-startling gore effects, as well as creepy atmosphere and a sense of gritty realism usually absent from the slicker Hollywood productions. SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT fits the bill as an all-but-forgotten movie from this era, but sadly it turns out to be anything but a gem. Saying that, this early slasher flick even manages to pre-date Black Christmas by a year, and HALLOWEEN fans will find much of interest in the p.o.v. killer shots and the eerie atmosphere that highlight this unusual little movie.

The film was obviously made on the cheap, and in many places things are far too dark to see what's going on. Despite the best intentions of the filmmakers, this film's a chore to sit through. The story is slow beyond belief and the narrative stilted and mishandled; the editing of various scenes is done in such a way to make even the simplest shots confusing to the viewer. In essence, it's about a creepy old abandoned house that may be home to a murderous lunatic, plus some back story about an old asylum. The plot itself is fairly simple and uneventful, at least until the final denouement which has a classic twist of an ending. As is usual for most '70s horror flicks, there's a little gruesomeness, including a double axe murder and a broken bottle in the face, but nothing too off-putting for seasoned buffs who like their horror of the older, more classic variety. One of the most positive aspects of the film lies in director Theodore Gershuny's work – there are some genuinely inventive moments, enhanced by weird camera angles, and an excellent flashback sequence involving inmates taking over the asylum in which things get really spooky and eerie.

The story is cheaply acted by a bunch of no-name or cult stars such as Warhol favourite Mary Woronov. Guest star Patrick O'Neal doesn't hang around for long, while John Carradine doesn't say a word! Leading actor James Patterson was dying of cancer while the film was being made, adding a further level of grubbiness to the thing. SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT is a very obscure movie, and it's easy to see why; low budget, quite similar to dozens of others, and with no big names to market it. Despite these factors it works in places and provides a fair few chills during the short running time.

Michael_Elliott 21 January 2015

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Low-budget shocker has a man (James Patterson) inheriting his grandfather's house, which at one time was an asylum. Years earlier the grandfather has been burned alive and left in his will that no one sells the place. Well, the grandson decides to sell it and sends his lawyer (Patrick O'Neil) to do so but soon an axe-carrying maniac starts knocking people off.

SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT is a somewhat popular title due to its Public Domain status, which means it's been released in countless ways over the past two decades. Most people either really enjoy the film for its story or they're going to be bored by the poor technical aspects. It's really too bad that the screenplay wasn't given some polish because the actual mystery here is so good that you can't help but wonder what someone like Hitchcock could have done with it. Yes, I think there are some very good story ideas running throughout the picture that really could have been exploited by a great director.

As it stands, SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT is a slightly entertaining, if highly flawed movie. We'll start with some of the good stuff. The highlight is without question that actual mystery, which is strong enough to carry you throughout the entire running time. If you stop and think about a few things there are certainly some holes to be found but at the same time there's no doubt that you'll be guessing up to the very end. Another good aspect here are the murders, which are pretty bloody in their own way. What's so impressive about them isn't so much the blood but the POV way that they're shot. All of them are shot extremely well when you consider the budget.

Which, by the same token, makes you wonder why the rest of the film looks so poor. It certainly doesn't look like a professional film and there's no question that the low-budget does more harm than good. Performances are better than average with both Patterson and O'Neal doing a good job as does Mary Woronov. Horror legend John Carradine has a brief role here and it's always fun seeing him.

SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT is far from a classic but it's a charming film in its own right, warts and all.

bkoganbing 11 May 2011

Silent Night Bloody Night has young James Patterson inheriting his grandfather's mansion which at one time due to concern and a kind of strange curiosity he once turned into an insane asylum. Patterson is looking to sell and he sends his attorney Patrick O'Neal out to make the arrangements.

Town fathers like Walter Abel and John Carradine are giving O'Neal fisheyed looks and later on O'Neal gets killed in a gruesome manner. Then Patterson shows up and he and Abel's daughter Mary Woronov kind of hit it off.

If you care to sit through the film you'll find that some mighty strange things happened at the old mansion back when grandpa owned it. Including one terrible night of violence that involved grandpa and Patterson's mother. In fact it's strange all around.

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