If you want a cine-confession, I’ve still never seen the ‘Silent Night’ films. I started the first one last year but think I fell asleep, and although it’s meme-worthy I’ve never seen part 2 either. But I had heard this rendition get brought up in conversation recently, and the poster art was creepy, so I decided to try out part 5’s ‘The Toy Maker’.
After a bizarre incident occurs where he watches his father suffocate on a strange toy, Derek is traumatized and hardly speaks. His mother does her best to get him out of his funk, but nothing seems to be working. After a bizarre encounter at the local toy shop called “Petto’s”, and then after an equally bizarre encounter with a mall Santa, things continue to get progressively weirder. Up until the night that Derek’s babysitter is assaulted by a gang of killer toys, and then all the secrets become revealed.
So, to cover the things I liked, I love killer toy films. There’s certainly a bunch I still need to get to and this one sounded promising. Written by the eccentric Brian Yuzna, this was a fun entry into this camp. The story continuously makes you raise an eyebrow and try to gauge what’s going on, every character outside of the immediate family is questionable at best, and the violence – while sparing – is fun when it happens. The genuine mystery keeps you engaged and it goes in some bonkers directions.
As for the stuff I didn’t like…. well, the killer toys occupy maybe 5 minutes of the entire film. It turns into more of a madman/mad scientist film than it does a real killer toy movie. The killer toy attack is super fun and quite brutal, but I really wished there was more. And also, while Derek is playing a boy who is traumatized, I was super bothered by his mouth-breathing-blank-staring face who hardly ever speaks. Picture that kid in the grocery store who stares at you while his mom browses and he just has that dumb, absent minded look… yeah, he’s like this the entire film. While it suits the part, it was rather frustrating to be stuck with.
But overall, this film was pretty fun. I’m not sure I would ever revisit it although the poster was super promising. It has a good story and plenty of effective twists, but it definitely doesn’t fully engage with what it promises. The madman reveal is definitely clever and pretty well done, but I WANTED MORE KILLER TOYS, DAMNIT!
“Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker” is currently streaming on Shudder.
From all of us at The Gruesome Gazette, we wish you a Merry Horrordays.
‘Til Next Time,
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