Silent Night Parent Guide
This story of existential despair is told with a morbidly dark British wit.
Parent Movie Review
Nell and her husband, Simon (Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode) are hosting a special Christmas dinner for their old friends. There’s the usual hassle, wrangling their children Art (Roman Griffin Davis) and twins Thomas and Hardy (Hardy and Gilby Griffin Davis), getting food ready, and assigning bedrooms to the guests. The guests, of course, bring their own challenges. Sandra and Tony (Annabelle Wallis and Rufus Jones) have brought their insufferable daughter, Kitty (Davida McKenzie). Bella and Alex (Lucy Punch and Kirby Howell-Baptiste) are having their own disagreements, primarily about Alex’s feelings of exclusion from the group. And James and Sophie (Sope Dirisu and Lily-Rose Depp) have brought their own little secret.
The normal Christmas social drama pales in comparison to what’s really going on – a cataclysmic cloud of poison gas sweeping over the entire world, destroying everything in its wake. Those forewarned have a terrible choice: Wait for death…or take matters into their own hands. They don’t have much longer to decide, either, as the cloud is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.
Silent Night is billed as a dark comedy, but that doesn’t quite do it justice. This is gallows humor at best, a sort of determined whistling past the graveyard while the unthinkable approaches. The interpersonal drama of this unusual friend group is a light counterpoint to the main plot, which keeps primarily to the background. After all, who wants to spend their last Christmas on earth talking about how they’re going to die?
If the subject matter didn’t make it clear, this is not a movie for children or teens or sensitive viewers. Under any circumstances. Not only is it absolutely crushingly depressing, it’s also riddled with a great deal of profanity. With the end of the world imminent, Nell and Simon have decided that their kids ought to be allowed to cuss, and cuss they do. A lot. And that’s before you get into the ongoing conversation about suicide and euthanasia which forms the main theme of the film. This is not a lighthearted Christmas comedy.
Silent Night is neither fun family entertainment nor is it even enjoyable in a conventional sense – but it does a good job of staring into a horrifying void without flinching. I can’t say I’d recommend this to…well, almost anyone, but if you’ve got an appetite for difficult topics and an appreciation for some deeply dark British humor, then you’ve found a good match. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you when the credits roll and the depression hits.Directed by Camille Griffin. Starring Annabelle Wallis, Matthew Goode, Keira Knightley. Running time: 92 minutes. Theatrical release December 3, 2021. Updated February 24, 2022
Rating & Content Info
Why is Silent Night rated Not Rated? Silent Night is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: A person accidentally cuts their finger. Dead bodies are seen, including those of children and infants. There are frequent references to, and discussions and depictions of suicide and euthanasia. A child is seen dying of poison gas exposure. A character is fatally stabbed.
Sexual Content: There are several crude sexual references, and one brief reference to child sex abuse.
Profanity: There are 77 sexual expletives, 14 scatological terms, and frequent use of terms of deity, and occasional mild cursing.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking, sometimes to excess. Some adults are seen smoking marijuana. There is a brief reference to cocaine.
Page last updated February 24, 2022
Silent Night Parents' Guide
How does this film reflect the debate around euthanasia? What are the arguments for and against? How do you feel about the issue? What legislation exists in your country around suicide or physician assisted suicide?