Movies

Silent Night Review: A Surprisingly Insightful Apocalyptic Holiday Movie

Silent Night

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Silent Night just hit theaters on December 3 but it may have flown under your radar as an apocalyptic movie. The name and the cover both make it look like a festive holiday movie, but that’s part of the charm. The fact is, not only is this movie apocalyptic, but it deals with some pretty harsh realities that we might need to admit we’re ready to hear.

Silent Night stars Keira Knightley as a middle-aged mom who invites all of her old friends from school and their families over to celebrate one last time before a deadly cloud of poison gas sweeps across the British Isles.

Keira Knightley might seem like an odd choice to star in a dark apocalyptic drama, but she was brilliant in the apocalyptic comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World with Steve Carell. And in this one she stars along side the daughter of Pirates of the Caribbean co-star Johnny Depp. If that doesn’t make you feel old…

The movie starts out as a cliche ’90s romcom that we’ve all seen before. The friends are on their way over to the big party. They reveal little secrets about the other party-goers, and you just can’t wait to see the drama play out. Which girl will end up with which guy? Where’s Julia Styles and Rachel McAdams?! Oh, it’s British so Hugh Grant will come stumbling up at some point and we’ll all laugh at his antics as he steals away the prettiest girl!

But no, this isn’t a ’90s romcom and Hugh Grant is, thankfully, not in this film. While the movie starts out light-hearted and heavy on the British humo(u)r side, it takes a dark turn fairly quickly. Hooray!

All of the guests initially try their hands at having a good time, but one by one they’re faced with the reality of the situation. This poison gas cloud is approaching quickly and they’ll all need to take a government-issued suicide pill before the cloud arrives. They’ve all agreed that this is the best course of action to prevent the pain and agony associated with the poison’s effects. Everyone is on board with this plan. Well, almost everyone.

Silent Night Keira Knightley

Silent Night is a timely film, to say the least. I’m not sure if it was planned that way (with this here pandemic and all) but it really does speak to the contrasting opinions on COVID-19, the vaccines, the mandates, and even abortion. It’s not so much that Silent Night picks a side in these dangerously divisive debates, but it presents each side and says “What would you do?”


Even outside of the current event parallels, you can’t help but wonder what you’d do in the shoes of the characters in the film. As a father, this movie struck me especially hard — and I totally wasn’t expecting that. Heck, I was ready to turn the movie off in the first 20 minutes.

But I’m glad I stuck with it. Silent Night is a movie that dives a bit deeper than you’d expect, tackling topics that you might be afraid to explore. It’s whole-heartedly British in every possible way, and I love it for that.

You can catch Silent Night in theaters or streaming on AMC+.

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's Massively.com, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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