Franchise Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 3: Better Watch Out!

The comatose Ricky Caldwell reawakens and begins to stalk a blind woman, with whom he shares a psychic connection.

After the dismal sequel “Silent Night, Deadly Night 2” I still can’t fathom who thought it would be a good idea to make another.

It’s been six years since ‘Ricky’ was shot down and it turns out that he’s been kept in a hospital all this time. ‘Dr. Newbury’, his doctor, wants to see if his blind clairvoyant patient, ‘Laura’, can contact ‘Ricky’. In fact ‘Dr. Newbury’ suspects that ‘Laura’ is actually holding information back.

I went into this film with a feeling of trepidation, I mean can you blame me after what I just sat through with the previous film. Whilst I will say that this feature is not as bad as the previous film (I mean, how could it be?!) it unfortunately still doesn’t mean that this is a good film.

The character ‘Laura’ is having visions, the visions she’s having are the events of the past two films. ‘Laura’ has no idea that she’s actually contacting ‘Ricky’, who’s in the next room and they’re attached together by machines, separated by a window. ‘Laura’ is convinced she’s going crazy with these flashbacks.

The acting is actually pretty good, you may even notice that ‘Ricky’ is now played by Horror favourite Bill Moseley. The problem with this feature is it’s script, it’s all over the place and the dialogue is atrocious. Also the abundance of the flashbacks, we had enough of those in the last film.

“Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 3: Better Watch Out!” is only really a film to watch if you’re curious as to what happens to Ricky.

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

The movie was largely rushed into production. The original script was discarded and rewritten in one week, starting in March 1989. Principal photography had finished by the end of April, editing was done in May, and the movie was first screened at a film festival in July.

Director Monte Hellman attended a screening of the movie in July 2008 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas, where he said he thought it was his best work, though not his best movie.

The movie that the gas station employee is watching on the TV is “The Terror” (1963), also directed by Monte Hellman (uncredited).

The original screenplay for the movie was written by producer Arthur Gorson and S.J. Smith. Monte Hellman disliked this screenplay however, and with Gorson’s permission hired Rex Weiner to write a completely new screenplay. This was further revised by Hellman himself, his daughter Melissa Hellman, and Steven Gaydos. The rejected script by Gorson and Smith would subsequently form the basis of what eventually became Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990).

Dr. Newbury’s assistant is played by Melissa Hellman, the daughter of director Monte Hellman. She also reportedly assisted her father with the final draft of the script.

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