Silent Night Deadly III: Better Watch Out (1989)

Directed & Edited by: Monte Hellman

Written by:
Steven Gaydos, Richard n. Gladstein , Monte Hellman & Carlos Lazlo


Richard Beymar .... Dr. Newbury
Bill Moseley .... Ricky Caldwell
Samantha Scully .... Laura Anderson
Eric DaRe .... Chris Anderson
Laura Harring .... Jerri

Elizabeth Hoffman .... Granny
Robert Culp .... Lt. Connely

Release Dates: Direct-to-Video: November 1, 1989

*Images courtesy at:





A man Dr. Newbury (Richard Beymar) managed to save the life of the Santa killer Ricky Caldwell (Bill Moseley) after being shot half to death from the last time he went on a killing spree as he encased his exposed brain inside a plexiglas cap but hasn't been able to revive him from his deep coma.
He connects his brainwaves through a clairvoyant gifted blind woman Laura Anderson (Samantha Scully) as she seems to enter his twisted and haunted dreams from his brothers past and she senses what he will do next every time she dreams before going to her Granny's house on Christmas.
Eventually Ricky awakens from his coma and arrives to see Granny (Elizabeth Hoffman) before Laura does and starts to kill when he sees red to top it all off.
Dr. Newbury and a Lieutenant Connely (Robert Culp) must arrive there to try and save her and her family from this maniac.


A real improvement as if part 2 didn't happen at all but looks too low budget compared to the first one and taken in a completely different direction.
There's a neat opening with a blind woman named Laura Anderson sleeping showing the credits along with good moments on Ricky Caldwell in her dream with him whispering to her and trying to kill her which seems impressive to watch and almost looks like a tribute to Freddy Krueger himself with all of this except for the dark comedy used in it. Plus a moment with her sitting on Santas lap and is not who she thinks it is. The writing for this was very imaginative on a blind woman actually seeing people in her dreams.
There's also some funny moments like a guy dressed in a Santa suit and behind a nurse's back asks a sleazy question which made me laugh a bit plus is in the room where Ricky is lying in a coma and mocks him. Right away you think that this is a bad idea and is just that. Plus we see him wobbling outside of the hospital which looked creepy and you don't see this everyday especially what he has on his head too.
There's also flashbacks from the first film but not the sequel but no one mentions Ricky's brother who was the original killer. You do wonder if the filmmakers were paying any attention to the first two since some of the discussions were a bit fabricated like with the officer named Lt. Connelly discussing the side of his head being blown off from the previous sequel as that never happened to him at the end of part 2. He was shot but that's it. Oh well, if you watch slasher sequels like Friday the 13th or Halloween they never get it right of what happened beforehand. The writing was slightly off with all of this and it seemed like a totally different film alltogether.
There's also Laura's sibling Chris who escorts her to a car and his girlfriend Jerri tries to get friendly with her but she acts stuck up as this seems disturbing wondering if Jerri herself will get defensive by telling her off.
I did enjoy a heartwarming moment with ole Granny meeting Ricky at the door thinking he was someone mentally challenged and giving him a meal then finding a present underneath the tree in which the wrapping is red and that changes everything leading to a killing which was caught off camera in which I preferred that since Granny was so warm and caring. The writers did remember that red really affected Ricky like in the previous sequel so a golden point for them there.
Plus it seemed necessary that Chris, Jerry and Laura enter Granny's house and she isn't there as well as things being too quiet along with certain things like the furniture isn't in the right place with Laura noticing that with her blindness and being used to where Granny had them in the first place bringing a bit of suspense into all of this. But when Ricky tries to make his first attack it falls flat in which this was supposed to make you jump and it doesn't since it looks way too cheesy.
There are some black comedic moments when Connelly discovers a decapitated head in an office of a gas station sitting next to a phone as this person before he was killed was talking on the phone which was well done in a grissly art fashion.
There's also the traditional moment with Dr. Newbury trying to slowly apporach Ricky as well as taking his hand thinking maybe Ricky will give in which looks deadly and dangerous since we all know a killer can play tricks at first like this and then BAM! He snaps and will kill his own shrink after escaping.
There are good and touching moments between Laura and Jerri while being scared from trying to surive Ricky in which they have a better understanding with one another as this was well written in on being allies finally.
There's even the suggested ghostly moments with Granny speaking to Laura on using her special ability along with hallucination sequences showing Granny discussing this which fits in quite well along with great moments on her smashing a lightbulb so Ricky can't see her either on meeting a match between them proving that blind people can defend themselves in many ways.
Bottom line is that the story is alot of fun to watch but alot of the times the story become quite stale and bland too.
A part 4 was made but had no relation to this one but hey Halloween 3 beared no relationship to the Michael Myers series and were planning to keep it that way with more sequels until the fans requested for Myers to return but unfortunately the Silent Night series didn't have as big of a fanbase although it did pull off the slasher tradition of a certain season unlike most of these movies.

The acting is alot better than in the previous sequel as they all seem to perform not too bad in this one.
Lead actor Richard Beymar (Dr. Newbury) as a serious doctor with trying an experiment on his patient and Ricky was great as a serious one in the film knowing his craft throughout his role. He really showed a strong performance and made his role totally believeable with whatever he did in the film. He was coonvincing when he was brutally injured by choking out his words.
Samantha Scully (Laura Anderson) seemed to do the trick portraying someone who is blind with her actions not being able to see and trying to go from one place to another bringing her character to life. She also does well by having a stand offish attitude too. But there's times her energy is low with her screaming the odd times which needed improvement a little bit but other times she was fine.
Bill Moseley
(Ricky Caldwell) this time steps in to play the Santa killer instead of the original actor which seemed a bit odd as he didn't look at all brawny but more freaky and pulls off the role well nonetheless. He has nice expressionless expressions acting totally mute which he really got into his role big time and proving that he can be versatile than just acting goofy and chatty like his Chop Top role in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. He does well with his brief whispering words sounding dark and deadly. He was great walking on the side of a road like a zombie which gives you a strange feeling of what people would think seeing someone strange like that outside. He looked convincingly menacing and deadly when he grasps someone.
However, one of the co-stars in the film played by Eric DaRe (Chris Anderson) as a sympathetic brother needed a bit of work. He was one of those nice guy next door types as well as that he supposed to be charming and outgoing but with all of this he was just plain wooden with everything that he did in the film and only had his looks do the talking.
Elizabeth Hoffman
(Granny) played the perfect elder one in the film with her believeable and kind attitude. She brings alot of good energy into her role and made it believeable that she was open minded and loving like. She had the nice looks not looking too old but just right for her appearance.
TV and film veteran Robert Culp (Lt. Connelly) usually played these types of parts in shows and still pulls it off and added some wit too to his role showing alot of uplifting energy and not lacking one bit with what he did in the film. He was acceptable but at the same time didn't stand out as much as he should have.

There is a breast shot on Laura Harring taking a bubblebath.

A womans wrist is cut open during a nightmare sequence
A throat on a hospital receptionist is cut open during a dream sequence
A decapitated head is left on a desk in a gas station office and much later the remains of the body
A persons guts is cut open

The music is cheesily synthesized making it sound typically low budget yet it can sound really dark too. There's nice chilling sounds as well as ghostly types of synthesiser and many high pitched icy tinkling type music in alot of spots. There's also good deep dark music in a situation with Laura Anderson and Ricky Caldwell in a dark cellar sounding very effective for that scene. All of this was composed by J. Steven Soles.

Santa: Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas Santa
(Staring at her walking away) Lick my candy cane little girl???