Film Review: Silent Night

Nell throwing the party to end all parties

Christmas is a time for families to come together. To put aside their differences and to enjoy the festive season in a spirit of love and understanding. Gathered round an open fire, handing out presents and overindulging in far too much food. Celebrating what you have but also looking forward to what the future might hold. Friends and family alike. In Silent Night the Yuletide cheer is tempered somewhat by the end of the world.

Nell (Keira Knightley) is hosting the Christmas party to end all Christmas parties. Well, there certainly won’t be another, anyway. Mother Earth has finally had enough and has decided to rid herself of the pesky polluting humans. This is the last night for mankind on the planet, with the choice of dying painfully from toxic gases or by swallowing a government authorised suicide pill. She invites family and friends to spend the final few hours together at her mother’s rural idyll.

Silent Night is one of the strangest Christmas films you’re ever likely to see. The tone of Camille Griffin’s debut feature oscillates between apocalyptic doom, festive cheer and corrosive disharmony. While the climate crisis is on everyone’s lips at the moment, the potential endgame is considered here. With a cast that includes Matthew Goode, Annabelle Wallis, Roman Griffin Davis and Lily-Rose Depp, Silent Night just about gets the balance right. Manging to mix gallows humour and quotidian drama into the end of the world.

Silent Night is in US theatres and on AMC+ from 3 December.

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