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Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990)
Movie Review by Professor Corpse Rot

Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990) First, let me start off by saying that as an avid horror fan, I can appreciate the vision of most movies - good or bad. I've seen my share of both over the years and I'm sure you have too. Occasionally, there is always a title that creeps up on you, leaving you scratching your head. "What did I just watch?" you might ask yourself. Imagine that little scenario, but multiply its impact ten-fold and you've found yourself laying in a pool of confusion, as the end credits play, with nonsensical segments of Silent Night Deadly Night 4 forever etched into your mind. Oh the horror!

One of the biggest observations that go without saying is the most obvious one...what does this, in any way, have anything to do with the Silent Night, Deadly Night series? I was forewarned that this title would be irrelevant to the first three titles. Arguably, I could sit here and say a movie like Friday the 13th Part VII is irrelevant...I could bring up the fact that many titles in the Children of the Corn lineup are questionable in terms of content. However, none of these can light a candle to the sheer audacity that Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 has. The main difference is that in the previously mentioned titles, the storyline (although far gone by that point) is still left somewhat intact. The current fan-base is still expecting a revival of their favorite character or plot line. Initiation, on the other hand, goes off running in some odd direction with the attention span of an ADD-stricken grade-schooler.

I feel very cheated on account of this movie. For the record, I admire Brian Yuzna for his contributions on the Re-Animator series, Dagon, Faust, Necronomicon, and Return of the Living Dead III. I even enjoyed his directorial debut on the 1989 title, Society. I can see that his personal tastes played a huge part in the outcome of this movie. I found that the creature effects involving many of the insects were very much akin to his style (I was reminded of the third story in Necronomicon, and some scenes from Society, for example).

To be fair, I don't have many complaints about the acting or the amount of gore that I've learned to appreciate. The lead female character is believable to a degree, and Clint Howard delivers a decent performance as well, but the acting in general isn't too thought provoking. To elaborate on my previous point concerning relevance, the actors present in the earlier films were not here to reprise their roles - and why should they when there is absolutely no mention of them? I would have been more pleased if Yuzna decided to somehow include Billy or Ricky (the two murderers that took part in 1-3)...and to admit that preference is humiliating.

In conclusion, it baffles me beyond the scope of any human being's imagination to consider this movie brilliant or fun. The fact that this film tacks on the Silent Night, Deadly Night moniker on the end of the title is pitiful; I absolutely refuse to label it as an original horror movie twist about Christmas. For my own personal records that I keep offline, this has to be the second worst horror movie contained within a series, only slightly falling below the Howling III...an abomination so horrendous that the cast and crew responsible should be tarred and feathered. So here's to another hand-drawn "tick" added to the very vast wall of horror for completion purposes. If you're a glutton for punishment and a masochist, throw this one in and lay back. Don't be surprised if you wake up in another state surrounded by bottles of alcohol and an empty container of pills - it wasn't the movie's fault.

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