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  • Silent Night, Dead Night 4 (Otherwise known as both Initiation and Bugs) is a weird one because it's another Horror franchise that ditches the original material and goes in a new direction altogether.

    The first 3 movies were about the psychotic "Naughty" Caldwell brothers, this is oddly about a coven of witches and their bug themed birthing rituals and.....yeah, it gets a bit weird.

    Starring industry legend Clint Howard and Phantasm alumni Reggie Bannister this isn't as bad as you'd imagine but it's a really weird choice to veer off so dramatically.

    Okay fine it can work, Halloween 3 for example is my favorite of the franchise and has nothing to do with Michael Myers.

    This is passable, but weird. Also not one for those with weak stomachs, some of it is really quite grosse.

    A bizzare choice of content, but it could have been worse.

    The Good:

    Reggie Bannister, Clint Howard and Allyce Beasley are all great

    Creature effects are great

    The Bad:

    Just plain weird

    Simply not a Silent Night, Deadly Night movie

    Things I Learnt From This Movie:

    All Asian people know karate chops
  • "Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 4: Intiation" is one strange movie. In fact, I don't think I've seen anything quite like it before. And I've seen a lot of films. It is about a Los Angeles journalist who is investigating a woman's death around Christmastime. The woman spontaneously combusted and leaped from the top of a building downtown. While asking the owner of a bookstore (Maude Adams) within the building about the strange death, she is lead into a sacrificial cult of modern day witches that plan on using her for one of their sacrificial ceremonies on Christmas Eve.

    Take elements from "Rosemary's Baby" and throw in some nasty monster creatures and feminist witches in a Christmas setting, and you've got this movie. I swear, this movie is one of the weirdest movies I think I've seen. There are a lot of strange bugs and creatures throughout the film that are really disgusting. Bizarre events and sequences take place throughout the movie. This film has pretty decent acting, Maude Adams is the best of the cast as the head of the cult, and the special effects are pretty cheap but sufficient. Since it's Los Angeles and there's no snow, the Christmastime mood isn't really set here, but the film didn't really have anything to do the Christmas anyway. And the sequence where Ricky attacks Kim and her boyfriend in the apartment was pretty well-done.

    This is the only "Silent Night, Deadly Night" film that I've seen so far, but still I'd probably only recommend this to hardcore fans of the "Silent Night, Deadly Night" series, and from what I know this sequel is unrelated to the other films. It's entertaining and has some good moments, but it's a little far out there. I liked it though, oddly enough. 6/10.
  • Tired of the same old boring Christmas flicks that they show every year? Then this is the movie for you! Horror-meister Brian Yuzna (Society, Dentist 1 and 2), delivers the goods in this chilling entry into the SN,DN series. A creepy story, gruesome FX, and an over-the-top performance by Clint Howard (Ice Cream Man) are just a few of the highlights. Also look for a cameo by Reggie Bannister of Phantasm fame. Still waiting for Yuzna's "the Progeny"!
  • A female reporter investigates the death of a woman who, on fire, leapt off of a building to her death. Her investigation leads her to discover the existence of a strange cult dedicated Egyptian god Isis--and the cult wants her as its new queen. While the plot is virtually unrelated to the first 3 films, SNDN4 is a surprisingly effective gross-out thriller. There are a few scares and gruesome moments here and there and the visual effects are terrific and, as we've come to expect from Screaming mad George, different. Both The script and acting are unimaginative but it's good horror fun from the Yuzna team that we've all come to love and it makes a great holiday family......err, horror film. My rating for "Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation"-8/10.
  • While not as bad as Part 2, this was still awful. It's mostly because of how utterly ridiculous it is. This movie features a woman on fire jumping off a building and another woman investigating her death. It turns out the woman was a member of a cult that worshipped giant larvae (!) and she failed to go through initiation. Now only does this movie have virtually nothing to do with the previous movies, but it has virtually nothing to do with Christmas at all! Couldn't these guys have at least kept that consistent? There's a few Christmas trees and presents here and there and a Christmas party, but that's it!

    The woman is plagued by insects all around her house. I do know what that's like unfortunately. There are several giant insects that appear throughout the movie and it looks absolutely stupid. I think this woman is actually supposed to give birth to a giant bug at one point. This film is really disgusting and has nothing to do with anything. There's just so many random things going on it's hard to put any plot together. It looks like they just took random elements and objects and made a movie out of them. This is just pointless. *
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When I was 14 I went through a phase when I needed to watch as many horror flicks as possible.Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 (1990),with Allyce Beasley,was one of them.I have read almost all of the comments here, and I find them all pretty accurate--even if severely divergent. The votes are very polarized--like the appreciations in the comments. Both the positions are true. On one hand, the movie is a mess, junk out of junk, utter garbage;on the other, it is,on the very contrary,quite fascinating and involving.

    It made a strong impression on me:it was the ultimate apotheosis of the loathsome,the heights of the hideousness, with the ugliest means: an overflowing of disgust, the trepidation of the hideous; and the lowest level of the horror,as well.

    When I have seen it, I was very repulsed by the numberless cockroaches and creeping creatures--and by Mme. Beasley (whom I knew already from the Willis TV series) as well.

    The polar assessments are equally justified.

    The film has this uncanny atmosphere, obtained with the most brutal and gross means. For the adolescent I was, this played quite effective.
  • The second in a trio of Brian Yuzna-directed early-90s sequels to 80s horror classics, this one stands out - as particularly uninspired. Bride of Re-Animator was a decent direct sequel, continuing the story where it ended in Re-Animator, while Return of the Living Dead III surprisingly re-animated a left-for-dead franchise with a new story bearing only some connections to the original (and missing its humor). Both of them were B-movies, sure, but they had good ideas, the weird make-up effects that Society, Yuzna's freaky debut, made him known for, and lots of B-charm of their own. Why Yuzna even bothered with the trite SNDN series I don't know - probably it started with a late-night call like this: " Well, that last Silent Night Deadly Night movie did OK, so if you have anything which we could somehow distribute under that franchise, we'll do it." The only thing that connects this one to the others is the character of Ricky (this time it's the great Clint Howard in one of his lamest performances) who's shot-to-goo brain has healed remarkably well in just one year. Well, the bum he plays may as well be named Ron or Gerald - and probably was before they tried to make some unnecessary connection with the SNDN series. The story is uninteresting from the start, the acting is bland (the unknown Neith Hunter probably got the lead because she was willing to do the slime-trenched nude scenes) and yes, there's Yuzna's trademark scenes involving Screaming Mad George's body melt effects which are fun as always, but they are few and short, hardly worth the wait. As there's hardly any Christmas connections either, this one doesn't even qualify for a Trashmas video night in the holidays.
  • I'm a huge Brian Yuzna fan, it all began after watching the classic horror/comedy Re-Animator.

    This fourth installment of the moderately entertaining Silent Night Deadly Night franchise is far better than the previous three. Granted I was disappointed when Santa never made an appearance in this film, but Yuzna ands ingredients that had been lacking from the original three films.

    Screaming Mad George's effects are always first rate, the giant bugs were marvelous and gross at the same time. How does he do it? Lead actress Neith Hunter is a very capable actress, and much like other Yuzna flicks(Re-Animator's Barbara Crampton & Progeny's Jillian McWhirter) isn't afraid to showcase some skin here and there.

    I absolutely hate Ron Howard's talentless brother Clint, but much like Tori Spelling in Sol Goode, his minuscule talents were suited for the role.

    Go ahead and rent it if your a fan of decent low budget horror flicks.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Reporter Kim(Neith Hunter in an awful performance), tired of working the Classified section and Calender at her male-dominating newspaper, decides to follow the unusual suicide of a young woman whose body was found charred from the waist down. What she walks into is a coven of strange witches led by Fima(Maud Adams)who wishes to use Kim, through various oddball witchcraftian concoctions, to bring back her daughter(..who indeed is the burning suicidal girl who took the plunge from the top of the apartment complex). The witches have this belief that Kim can rid herself of the parasitic males who have "ruled" over her by carrying out the ceremony of "Isis" where she would sacrifice the brother of her lover(..and co-worker)Hank(Tommy Hinkley). Kim is reluctant to do any of the things Fima and her co-horts desire and often faces bizarre hallucinations as big bugs(cock-roaches mainly)and larvaic worms rear their ugly heads everywhere she frequents. The biggest bug she can't rid herself of is ogre-like Ricky(Clint Howard playing his usually disgusting troll who Yuzna embellishes by photographing him with imaginative angles)who is the coven's gopher/soldier doing their bidding so that their ceremonies and such get accomplished. Will Kim be able to escape the clutches of the witches? Or, will she suffer the same fate as Fima's daughter?

    Your usual Yuzna weirdness. Lots of nasty bugs grown to massive size to give those who dislike them the creeps thanks to Screamin' Mad George's workshop. Hell, even Kim's spaghetti "breathes" at one point! There's a grotesque scene where Kim begins to morph into a worm and really violent scenes where Ricky attacks people such as Kim's boyfriend Hank with a steak knife or like choking Hank's father with Christmas lights. Oh, and Yuzna makes sure to show us why this film is in the series as a fourth film(..other than merely exploiting the title for his own purposes)by showing an excerpt of the previous sequel where the blind girl dreams of being nearly attacked by the killer Santa. The film really is merely an exercise in disgusting effects with a spit of witchcraft thrown in for good measure. One talent Yuzna shows is how to express creepy facial expressions out of rust on doors and through tree branches as they often form faces. Phantasm fans might dig the minor role Reggie Bannister has as Eli, the man in charge of the successful newspaper Kim wishes to become a reporter at.
  • This movie feels more like a sequel to Rosemary's Baby. For whatever reason they called it a Silent Night, Deadly Night sequel, and had it set at Christmas time. Just like Pt. 3, it's Christmas in L.A., so now snow on the ground.

    Clint Howard's character is named Ricky, which has to be more than just a coincidence. But I can't see how this Ricky can be tied to the Ricky in Pt.2 and 3.

    Screaming Mad George still has the cochroach puppets left over from Nightmare On Elm Street 4.

    It's good to see Reggie Banister in a movie not directed by Don Coscorelli.
  • At least for this entry in this seasonal horror series things are taken in an awfully wild new direction. Gone is the tastelessness and dark humour of the first movie, the camp quality of the silly second movie, and the surreal nature of the third. For entry # 4, screenwriter Woody Keith and director Brian Yuzna go for utter strangeness - as well as the gross-out - in their story. An ambitious, stubborn wannabe reporter, Kim (pretty Neith Hunter) determines that she'll solve the mystery of a young woman's bizarre suicide - which may have involved spontaneous human combustion, treating her boyfriend Hank (Tommy Hinkley) like crap in the process. And therein lies one of the problems with "Initiation": its protagonist is so surly, with such a big chip on her shoulder, that she's very hard to follow as a main character, and while attractive, Hunter isn't much of an actress, so it's up to the story and supporting characters to keep things interesting. Among all the trappings are a barrage of insects, maggots, and the ghoulishly fun "surrealistic" makeup effects of the great Screaming Mad George, who'd done such memorable work on "Society", Yuzna's directing debut. To top it all off, the supporting cast includes one of the big screen's all time great creators of oddness and creepiness, Mr. Clint Howard, who's a hoot every time he pops up on screen. In something of a nod to past entries, he plays a man named Ricky. The amusing selection of actors also includes Allyce Beasley of 'Moonlighting' fame as Kim's friend Janice, lovely Bond girl Maud Adams as the alluring and enigmatic Fima, Ben Slack, the psychiatrist in "Society", as Hank's prejudiced dad, Yuzna's own son Conan as Hank's kid brother Lonnie, and "Phantasm" series star Reggie Bannister in a highly entertaining turn as Kim and Hank's boss at the newspaper. Things get off to a pretty good start with those stylized opening credits, and Richard Band's music is another plus. What's truly ridiculous is how the makers of these movies seem always obliged to include any sort of archive footage, as scenes from SNDN 3, "Better Watch Out" play out on a TV screen. Also, the story here has little to do with the holiday; it merely happens to take place at Christmastime. It's entertainingly bonkers stuff, that admittedly one could view as being anti-feminist. But if all of this still intrigues the potential viewer, and they're happy to not see a single killer Santa in sight, they might want to check this out. Six out of 10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Feisty reporter Kim (an appealingly perky performance by the pretty Neith Hunter) investigates the mysterious fiery death of a young woman. Kim uncovers a lethal and mysterious coven of man-hating feminist lesbian witches who worship the powerful Egyptian goddess Isis and want to make Kim a new member. Director Brian Yuzna, working from a wickedly freaky, nasty, and original script by Woody Keith, capably crafts an engrossingly weird and warped shocker: Yuzna maintains a steady pace throughout, develops an appropriately spooky and ominous atmosphere, adds a few inspired moments of amusing dark humor, and piles on the tremendously revolting gross-out moments with real go-for-it unpleasant aplomb (stomach-knotting highlights include loads of icky squirmy giant bugs and larva, Kim giving birth to a vile over-sized insect, and Kim mutating into a giant slimy humanoid worm mutant). This movie further benefits from sound acting by an able cast, with stand-out contributions by Maud Adams as alluring cult leader Fima, Tommy Hinkley as Kim's horny, supportive boyfriend Hank, Allyce Beasley as sympathetic coworker Janice, and Reggie Banister as Kim's sexist jerk boss Eli. Clint Howard is genuinely creepy and unnerving as geeky and grubby cult flunky Ricky; Howard brutally butchers one man with a knife, strangles another guy with Christmas tree lights, and even has kinky ritualistic sex with Kim (yuck!). Screaming Mad George provides the deliciously grotesque make-up f/x. The yuletide setting, a pronounced sexually perverse angle, and the bizarre evil rituals all give this picture an extra twisted edge. Both Philip Holahan's slick cinematography and Richard Band's shuddery score are up to speed. Good grody fun.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first Silent Night, Deadly Night is an average slasher movie with a few nice touches, but is overall a pretty forgettable film. Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 has the last 10-15 minutes going for it, but after about 70 minutes of boredom it doesn't help much. Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 is much better than the previous two and is very entertaining. Now, after 3 films that were all part of the same story, Brian Yuzna and Woody Keith have brought us one of the most bizzare part 4s this side of Demons 4: The Church and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

    !!!POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!This one opens up with a woman who falls off the roof of a bookstore covered in flames. Kim, a woman who wants the perfect story so she can finally be a reporter sees this on the news and starts looking for clues. She talks to the owner of the bookstore, Fima, but gets no answers. However, is Fima hiding something? Kim and Fima become fast friends, but strange things happen to Kim. Weird visions, bugs, and a cult haunt Kim. She learns that the woman in the beginning was Fima's daughter and Fima wants Kim to take her place as her new one. On Christmas Eve Kim is about to perform the final part of the ritual, but changes her mind and must battle the cult to survive.

    Good story, effects, and great acting. ***1/2 out of *****.
  • This film is totally insane...and by totally insane, I mean that is totally insane to imagine that someone watched any of the previous three Silent Night, Deadly Night films...before dreaming up this lesbian cult bio-horror as an appropriate sequel.

    In fact, the only logical explanation is that this was a completely separate project, that was already written- and possibly even partially filmed already- when Yuzna had it appropriated by the SNDN franchise...after which he shot a few extra scenes, as to sell the Ricky connection (which is weak as f*ck, at best- and doesn't make sense at all, if you think about it).

    You could easily go through and watch this entire film without a) realizing it takes place on or around Christmas, and b) that the mental patient that is subservient to the lesbian cult is supposed to be Ricky.

    It was likely a pre-existing film called Initiation, that they added to the SNDN franchise, because after the second and third films were flops- they figured Yuzna could somehow revive it from it's death throes, by sketchily attempting to tie it into the ongoing storyline, after the fact.

    With that being said, it's actually a pretty good little film. It starts off with an anti-Vertigo vibe, but then turns more into a Rosemary's Baby sort of thing. And it has a feminist angle woven throughout. But all this is secondary to it being only remotely connected (and forced, at that) to the original franchise- whose name it bears.

    Worth a watch if you are into lesbian cults, bio-horror, or Clint Howard.

    5.5 out of 10.
  • A young reporter investigating a bizarre death becomes involved with a coven of modern day witches headed by Maud Adams. Good script and effects, but by the numbers acting and direction almost destroy it. Maud Adams outclasses the whole production. Rated R; Adult Themes, Sexual Situations, Nudity, Violence, and Profanity.
  • This is a totally unreleated sequel to the first three and is much better too. Story involves a reporter investigating a strange death and soon becomes wrapped up in a witch's coven. It is shockingly smart and features terrific special effects. The supporting cast for the most part is so-so to bad, except Maud Adams. 6.5 out of 10.
  • Judging from the reviews I've seen, most people seem to really hate Silent Night, Deadly Night 4. Why? I'm not sure. The movie I watched was an interesting creature feature. Maybe people don't like it because it's not a slasher like the first three? Maybe it doesn't mention Christmas enough (it is the one entry in the franchise that seems to have included the holiday as an afterthought), but it's an intriguing story, the pacing is decent, and the acting isn't half bad either. I'd say it's the Season of the Witch of the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise. It's not a bad film per se, but it's not what people were expecting.

    If you're looking for a slasher flick, pass on by, but if you're interested in a gooey creature feature/cult movie with some pretty nasty special effects, check it out.
  • Trying to investigate an apparent suicide, a reporter is drawn into a strange cult-like collection of women looking to host their demonic leader and tries to find a way of keeping a dangerous prophecy from coming true.

    This was a slightly-more enjoyable sequel effort that still has some problems with it. One of its better qualities is the fact that there's a lot more here than just a simple demonic cult offering as there's a wholly enjoyable backstory to what's going on here. The initial story about the suicide attempt and the strange situations that surround it are quite engaging, which is nicely matched by the later storyline of her investigation slowly leading her further and further into their powers which enable plenty of exciting times through some highly effective and shocking scenes. As these are based on the distorted and demented hallucinations that are part of the Insectoid fantasies she develops throughout the second half, these help get the film going along quite nicely while also managing to follow along the secondary revelations in here. The whole deal with the insects leads into the film's greatest strength throughout here in the demented atmosphere present here that tends to run rampant quite readily due to these elements, though it never does manage to overcome its few small problems due to that. The main issue here revolves around the finale which is quite a bit overdone and really lacking in any kind of coherent logic, rationality or even scary moments as the abduction and resulting sacrificial ceremony doesn't play out as expected and just falls incredibly flat due to playing out exactly as it's expected to do without fail. Hardly any of it makes any impact much like the fact that the film is so dependent on the weird and otherworldly visuals that it never makes sense on how to properly use them. This one tends to run around thinking that it needs to simply throw weird and slimy special effects around hoping that will cause the audience to squirm when it does nothing of the sort and instead simply continues an overlong tradition of random scene of slimy bugs after another which isn't scary in the slightest. By making it to that scenario, it forces the film into a state of relaxed attitudes and uninspired sequences that are hard to get into and what ultimately holds this one down.

    Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity, a sex scene and children-in-jeopardy.
  • After the deadly dull third film producer / director Brain Yunza would ambitiously steer away from the psycho Santa formula (no more Billy, Ricky or mother superior) of the first three "Silent Night, Deadly Night" outings, for something unrelated and could have easily stood alone by just sticking to the title "Initiation". Maybe then it would have gained a better reputation. Anyhow what's done is done. "Initiation: "Silent Night, Deadly Night 4" is an atypically strange holiday shocker, which delves into witchcraft, the occult and nasty looking bugs. The story centres on a bunch of female characters (an almost feminist stance streams through the material) led by the likes of an outstanding Maud Adams and Neith Hunter as the feisty newspaper reporter heroine, but the scene stealer is support actor Clint Howard who's dementedly humorous with his offbeat character. Director Yunza competent handling makes the most of the leering low-budget, establishing surprising dynamics (an edgy music score and getting some crudely nauseating and graphically surreal rubber make-up effects crafted by Screaming Mad George. There's quite an nightmarish atmosphere… where the premise plays out like some sort of lingering bad dream with its constant off-the-wall images (the ritual sequences take the cake), alarmingly unpleasant streak and spaced-out characters finding its way into the investigative plot-structure. While immensely slow-burn, it did at times get frustrating with its stop and go rhythm amongst its ambiguously eerie plotting. Sometimes it had me captivated, while other instances my interest faded… but it builds up a rush of energy for its bewilderingly suspenseful climax. Other then the bumpy story it's a well-made, low-grade shocker.
  • The fourth entry in the mostly terrible Silent Night, Deadly Night series tries to move away from the killer Santa shtick. The story this time is about a female reporter who investigates a girl's suspicious death and becomes involved with a group of witches. Clint Howard's in it and hammy as usual. I'm not always a fan of his but many are, particularly those who were weened on straight-to-video '90s trash like this. Neith Hunter (who?) is the female lead. She's certainly pretty and shows some skin but does nothing else to leave an impression. The best part of the cast is former Bond girl Maud Adams as a lezzy witch. It's directed by Brian Yuzna, who has done more fun and creative horror films than this. There's a bit of the gross-out stuff you expect from his movies. There's also some on-the-nose messaging going on about sexism and feminism or something. But it doesn't amount to anything and seems to be the kind of business writers throw in to make themselves feel less like hacks when they're churning out Z-grade material. If you're a fan of the Silent Night, Deadly Night series -- you have my sympathies for your lack of taste. Just kidding. Sort of. Anyway, this isn't the worst of the lot but if you're really hoping for some guy in a Santa suit stabbing people then you'll hate this.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A female reporter (Neith Hunter) is investigating the bizarre suicide of a woman in flames who jumped off a building. Kim gets heavily mixed up in a satanic cult that wants to make her a sacrifice for the holidays. Why were four STV sequels necessary? The first one was a very entertaining slasher movie that had major balls. The sequels are about as a bad as a blind date. Brian Yuzna is responsible for one of my favorite horror movies! He made the wonderful Society, but this was just trash. Society was a disturbing film, this was just stupid. I was actually looking somewhat forward to this because of Yuzna's name! I should have known better. It's like they told Yuzna "Do your thing and make things as weirdly as possible, who cares" I kept asking myself what the point was. It doesn't have much to do with the first three. I also had trouble ignoring some things. Why did Kim keeping going around them? I get that a cult can overpower you, but I would have avoided them as much as possible. It's also really boring! It can throw in all the weirdness that it wants, but it can't hide the boredom. The best thing about this movie is the gore. There is an abundance of it! We get bug guts squeezed all over someone's face (And she enjoys it!) women cough up huge insects, ankle biting, and more! This one is pretty nasty. The acting is alright. Neith Hunter is off and on as the lead. She isn't very likable and I wasn't into her plight at all. Clint Howard is a revered horror actor, but I couldn't stand him in this movie. He annoyed the crap out of me with his antics! Maud Adams is all class and gives a great performance! Too bad it wasn't another movie. Horror favorite Reggie Banister shows up as well. The only thing I liked about this movie other than Maud Adams was the ode to City of The Dead with Christopher Lee (1959) In some ways, this movie is like that. Only nowhere near as good.

    Check out Society and leave this one alone! I'm a die-hard horror fan and I can honestly say it isn't worth it. There is no Killer Santa!

  • it's no longer about killer Santa any more,

    This movie was a lot better then the last 2 sequels,

    A reporter investigating the bizarre death of a woman who leaped from a building in flames finds herself mixed up in a cult of witches who are making her part of their sacrificial ceremony during the Christmas season.

    There were good moment in this movie, which I really enjoyed some of effect, which can be a little cheesy

    The acting was better then last 2 movies as well.

    4 out of 10 Worth watching
  • Warning: Spoilers
    None of the Silent Night: Deadly Night films will ever win an Academy Award, but at least you don't feel cheated out of a couple of hours of your life watching them. This one is absolutely awful!!! It shouldn't even be allowed to carry the Silent Night/Deadly Night title.

    It has nothing at all to do with the Christmas killer theme of the others & is sorely lacking any interesting storyline here. Nothing but a bunch of has been or never were actors from the 70's and wannabe actors from the 90's in this one. The script is awful, the acting's even worse & the special effects are lame & rely on slimy reptiles & cockroaches in the sink to get bang for the buck.

    If you get a chance try & book some time watching paint dry instead of watching this garbage.
  • Warning: Spoilers

    And I thought Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 was bad. Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: The Initiation is Halloween III all over again. But whereas Halloween III was a decent movie, Brian Yuzna has directed a turd. This film has very little in common with the other films in this series. Ricky Caldwell was the main villain in the previous two movies. In Part 4, Clint Howard plays a character named Ricky. However, a last name is never given and I just can't accept that he's the same guy. Also, the film does take place at Christmas time and they managed to sneak in footage from Part 3. But that's not enough to make it a Silent Night, Deadly Night flick. Because, correct me if I'm wrong, I don't remember giant cockroaches and a witch's coven being factors in a slasher movie about Santa Claus. Screaming Mad George, whose effects are usually terrifically twisted, are just okay in this one. Most of the effects are gross rather than cool. Yuzna is a hit or miss director. When he's good, he's good. But when he's bad, he's really bad. If you want to see his good work, check out his Re-animator sequels. If you love bad movies though watch Faust: Love of the Damned. I do have to say though that this is, by far, his worst picture.

    Note for genre buffs: Keep an eye out for Phantasm's Reggie Bannister. Even the Regman can't save this one.
  • 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 an image of Initiation: Silent Night Deadly Night 4 projecting through your television.

    One of the biggest observations that goes 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 and nonsensical 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 abomination so horrendous that the cast and crew responsbile 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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