A horror movie might not be the first thing you think of around the holidays, but 2004 Film graduate Steven C. Miller is hoping to change that with the release of his latest feature, Silent Night, in select theaters today. The film is a loose remake of the 1982 cult slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night, and re-imagines the story of a department store Santa set out on a bloody rampage during Christmas Eve.
Steven directed the film earlier this year in Winnipeg, Canada, with a cast that includes Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, and Donal Logue as the bloodthirsty Claus. It’s a genre not unfamiliar to the up and coming filmmaker, who previously helmed Automaton Transfusion, Under the Bed, and The Aggression Scale, and we spoke with him before the film’s premiere to learn about the production.
Full Sail: The original film has a loyal following, how did you balance that with your own take on the story?
Steven C. Miller: I was a huge fan of the original growing up so it was really important to me to pay homage to it, but to make sure this film also had its own thing too. I wasn’t interested in a shot for shot remake, I wanted to bring something new because you want to surprise people.
FS: It’s not just a horror movie, but also a Christmas movie. How much fun was it blending those two genres?
SCM: Doing this type of film in the Christmas genre is interesting because it’s about taking something that’s so beautiful and being able to distort that. It was even down to the production design for us, like focusing on the color red around Santa. All those little choices we made because we wanted to make the film more interesting on a subconscious level. I think people are going to have a lot of fun with it.
FS: You had a great cast supporting you, how were they to work with?
SCM: It was really fantastic. Any time you get to work with someone like Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, or a Donal Logue you’re completely in awe because they can come on set and immediately do what they have to do. Malcolm’s character especially was so over the top, and to see him bring it to life in only the way he could was such a fun thing.
FS: How excited are you to be able to watch the film with an audience?
SCM: It’s very intense for it to be coming out on a mass scale like this, to be able to see what mainstream America thinks of your movie. It’s a very good feeling for sure. My career has had a really nice progression – to start on smaller things, elevate into bigger and better projects, and now this. It’s been so great.
* Silent Night will also be available on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Films on December 4.