Horror Movie Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation (1990)


The 4th movie in the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise is a complete departure from the continuous story of the first 3 films. Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation was released in 1990. Written & directed by Brian Yuzna, it stars Clint Howard, Neith Hunter, Tommy Hinkley, Reggie Banister and Maud Adams.

Check out our reviews of the previous 3 films here:

1984 – Silent Night, Deadly Night
1987 – Silent Night, Deadly Night – Part 2
1989 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!

2012 – Silent Night (loose remake of the original)

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Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation drops the killer Santa stories of the previous films. Instead going with a witch related horror with very little actual Christmas links. In fact, the only link to the holiday really is the setting.

Kim (Neith Hunter) is an aspiring journalist working at a newspaper with a boss (Reggie Banister) who constantly overlooks her in favour of the men in the office. Kim’s desperation isn’t helped by the fact that she isn’t respected. This is because of her relationship with a colleague, Hank (Tommy Hinkley).

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After witnessing a woman fall from an apartment roof on fire, Kim sees a story in it but is frustrated by her boss’s lack of interest. She decides to pursue it herself & meets Fima (Maud Adams), a woman with strong feminist views & an interest in the occult.

Intrigued by Fima, Kim spends more & more time with her & her friends eventually uncovering the groups dark secret.

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Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation is an impressive entry in the series even if it is basically a stand-alone horror film. Looking extremely 90s visually, it has a grimy feel helped by the great effects of Screaming Mad George. Known as Bugs in the UK, later parts of the movie deliver on this title & it’s gleefully disturbing to watch. Screaming Mad George is such a master of practical effects.

There are some great performances here too. Neith Hunter does a great job in the lead role backed up by a cast that throw their all into their roles. Everyone plays their parts convincingly & with gusto.

Initiation 1

If the film is lacking it’s in its final moments. The stories resolution doesn’t satisfy as much as you might hope & by time you’ve reached it any pretence of Christmas has been effectively forgotten. Still, when held up against the last two films in the series, Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation is a classic, almost as good as the original.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation
  • 7/10
    The Final Score - 7/10
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