With Peter Sullivan at the helm, Lifetime’s ‘Silent Night, Fatal Night’ is a mystery thriller film that focuses on Mallory Dearborn, a famous and best-selling mystery novelist who has decided to put an end to her much celebrated and long-running detective novel series in order to focus on other important things in her life. Not in favor of this decision of hers, her manager Michael tries to influence it by taking her hostage and making the world believe that she is dead.
In desperate need of a big payday, Michael forces Mallory to write a posthumous novel. However, she spends the holidays working on her most thrilling work yet as she writes about her own escape from the clutches of her manager and captor. Given the inclusion of realistic themes and elements, such as lust for money and keeping someone captive for personal gain, the viewers are bound to pose the question — Is ‘Silent Night, Fatal Night’ rooted in reality or not?
Silent Night, Fatal Night is Not Inspired by a Real-Life Tale
No, ‘Silent Night, Fatal Night’ is not based on a true story. The enthralling storyline is a result of the combined efforts of four talented and experienced screenwriters — Robert Dean Klein (known for ‘To Kill a Stepfather‘ and ‘The Wrong High School Sweetheart‘), Adam Rockoff (known for ‘I Spit on Your Grave‘ and ‘Lust, Lies, and Polygamy’), Jeffrey Schenck (known for ‘One Night Stand Murder‘ and ‘Love at First Lie’), and the director himself, Peter Sullivan (known for ‘Secrets in the Desert‘). They have collaborated previously for a number of productions, which allowed them to work well together and come up with a thrilling screenplay for the Lifetime film.
The predominant theme of a hostage situation, which drives the narrative forward, is something that is commonly seen and heard about in real life. Thus, it is only natural that some of you might find some aspects of the movie true-to-life and relatable. Moreover, it is not the first and the last time that the themes and elements of ‘Silent Night, Fatal Night’ have been inculcated into the plot of a movie or TV show. In fact, there have been plenty of productions that explore the same, or similar, subject matters. One of the aptest examples has to be that of the 1990 psychological thriller movie ‘Misery.’ Based on the 1987 eponymous novel by Stephen King, the Rob Reiner directorial follows a renowned author Paul Sheldon who gets into a serious accident on his way home due to a blizzard.
Luckily for Paul, he is rescued by his fan Annie Wilkes, a former nurse. After taking him back to her remote cabin, she learns that he is planning to kill off her favorite character from his novels, which leads to her showing her true and obsessive nature when it comes to him. While Paul attempts to escape the cabin, Annie becomes more and more violent and controlling, making him shape the plot of his novels according to her twisted fantasies. Although the captor is a fan in ‘Misery,’ unlike the author’s manager in ‘Silent Night, Fatal Night,’ there are other striking similarities in the plot. All in all, despite having several parallels with reality, it doesn’t change the fact that the Lifetime movie is just a work of fiction.