Bob R.’s review published on Letterboxd:
Silent Night, Deadly Night first and foremost is a blatant attempt to provoke. As one who was right in the middle of the target-demographic when it came out, I can remember the local television reports and the outraged newspaper articles. In that regard, revisiting this cinema-footnote does make me a little nostalgic for a time when adults were far less jaded and could still be shocked - even if it was only by threatening the sanctity of Christmastime and Santa Claus.
The story finds a couple of young siblings witness the brutal rape and murder of their parents by a violent criminal dressed as Ol' Saint Nick. The two brothers grow up in an orphanage and the older of the two does show signs of having some uh, Santa-issues. So yeah, the guy loses it and goes on a mean-spirited murder spree.
There's not much this movie has going for it. The performances are wooden, the cinematography in uninventive and honestly, the psychology that suggests that a victim who gets coerced into dressing like his attacker will suddenly start behaving just like him, is dubious. In fact, the only real value I could find with this dud was just the simple presence of a circa-1984 Linnea Quigley. (Look, I'm a man. What do you want from me?)
If you want something with a similar premise, but featuring infinitely more entertainment value, try You Better Watch Out.