With a title like Silent Night, you know that this film is not about a Jewish family gathering because such gatherings are anything BUT.
Camille Griffin’s film sees a poisonous cloud making its way towards the United Kingdom. This is where a group of friends are partying to celebrate their last night on earth. I’m not sure partying is the best idea but oh well. Two of which are party hosts Nell (Keira Knightley) and Simon (Matthew Goode). Nell and Simon are the parents of Art (Roman Griffin Davis), Hardy, and Thomas. They invite the upper-class Tony (Rufus Jones) and Sandra (Annabelle Wallis), lesbian friends Bella (Lucy Punch) and Alex (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), and finally physician friend James (Ṣọpé Dìrísù) and his partner Sophie (Lily-Rose Depp). Once Sandra brings up spending Kitty’s (Davida McKenzie) college fund, all sorts of comedy transpires. If the world is ending, it’s not like their daughter will need it!
One of the leads is Jojo Rabbit breakout star Roman Griffin Davis. In what is perfect casting for this film, his siblings, Hardy and Gilby, star as his film siblings, Hardy and Thomas. I should point out that it’s a family affair because their mother is none other than Silent Night writer-director Camille Griffin. This is her first feature film and with the pandemic, there’s no better way than to direct your own family! While Griffin’s husband is a cinematographer, he does not appear to have worked on the film in that capacity.
There’s some irony in casting Keira Knightley in this film. She previously starred in Lorene Scafaria’s Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which–you guessed it–is about the end of the world. Where that film deals with an asteroid, this film sees humanity’s destruction come about in a different way.
This is one of those films where you cannot the delay the inevitable. A poisonous cloud is descending onto the United Kingdom. We know that nobody in this film is going to make it out alive. Not in the sense that this is a horror film but in the sense that humanity is ending. Listen, this isn’t a horror film. It’s more of a dark comedy although there’s a scene featuring a dead family in a car and it’s the most haunting scene in the film. Until the final minutes, of course. If you can’t deal with dead people, don’t watch it. What I can tell you is that, despite being Jewish, the synopsis was enough to sell me in that filmmaker Camille Griffin plays this film for laughs. There are no jump scares. I would have turned the film off in an instant!
Silent Night is fine for a first-time feature but audiences might not like the doom-and-gloom during a pandemic.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER: Camille Griffin
CAST: Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Roman Griffin Davis, Annabelle Wallis, Lily-Rose Depp, Ṣọpé Dìrísù, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Lucy Punch, Rufus Jones, and Trudie Styler