Planning on holding hostages over the holidays? Better think again, because Santa will straight mess you up in so, so, so many ways.
In the late 70's and 80's there was a string of terrible "Christmas" movies that featured Santa or a Santa facsimile going on a murderous rampage (Santa's Slay, Santa Claws, Silent Night, Deadly Night 1-3, et al.). It could be an easy mistake to confuse this movie with that band of sellout cash grabs. Violent Night is far from any of those films.
While it does pay a little homage to that group along with other Xmas classic films (Die Hard and Home Alone being the biggest and most obvious), Violent Night is a true Christmas movie. Ok, well maybe not one that you watch with the kiddies and bitchy old Aunt Linda (she hates everything anyways) but one that could easily become an annual tradition in the right circles. Think Machette Kills but with Santa going berserker (spoiler: see what I did there?) on a group of heisting baddies, with the true spirit of Christmas being found by the end of the ride.
David Harbour's Santa is without a doubt the most likable Santa ever captured on film. All those other guys with their holly jolly that is without flaw and immune to the realities of the world (just gonna laugh and drink cocoa the rest of the year while millions die from disease and war, huh Santa? Jerk.) isn't what Harbour's Saint Nick is about. He's crushed by the way he's seen the world play out over the last century. He's tired of greed and people losing touch with caring for each other. He's a broken man and one whom audiences identify with. His disgruntling isn't just for laughs like cliché driven films are. There is a point to it all, just like everything else in this very well written film. The rest of the cast is also great with some top tier villainy and Grinchin' from John Leguizamo (Johnny Legs as he's affectionately monikered on Stinker Madness) and some real old rich bitching from Beverly D' Angelo.
We can't say enough about Violent Night (our podcast took almost 2 hours because there's just so much to say) and we think its one of the best Christmas movies of all time (I'm serious). It shouldn't have worked and could have easily been a 2 star movie but the production group knew what they were doing (the minds that also brought us Nobody and Bullet Train) and didn't get sidetracked from the concept. Execution is at a 10 (in a few ways *wink*) and we don't see enough of that in film.
Go see it. Thank us later. Actually thank the people who made this instead by seeing it twice.
Over the top action:
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