There’s a new question to be added to your Christmas movie trivia list. What is the name of Santa’s favorite war hammer?
Every once in a while, a movie comes along and challenges the idea of what a Christmas movie is. Violent Night is just such a movie. With its fast pace, quick wit, and genre-bending premise, Director Tommy Wirkola’s “Violent Night” thrusts you into an unexpected heartwarming thrill ride. This film is far from his previous outings with “Dead Snow” and “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.”
The plot is simple: When a group of mercenaries attacks the estate of a wealthy family, Santa Claus must step in to save the day and Christmas. Santa starts in the film as a sad drunk burned out on Christmas. The greedy and selfish kids only want gift cards and video games. No one believes in the spirit of Christmas, and so no one believes in Santa.
Feeling rejected, he ponders this Christmas should be his last. The film wastes no time setting up the tolerance level by showcasing Santa vomiting, be it accidentally, on the bar owner’s head. It’s a graphic, visceral scene that gives you plenty of time to ponder what Santa ate for dinner. And it lets the audience know this isn’t your typical children’s Christmas movie.
The film takes queues from Die Hard, Home Alone, and A Christmas Story and ties them all together with the theme that the strength of Christmas magic is proportionate to a belief in Christmas.
There’s a heart and a genuine love of the season that resonates with the two main protagonists. David Hoarbours’ Santa Clause learns that there are still children who need him and believe in him. Leah Brady’s Trudy Lighstone’s faith in Santa is rewarded when he audibly answers her calls on a two-way radio.
Violent Night is a future Christmas classic, destined to be played on a loop via cable TV when the FCC rules loosen up a bit more. It’s a blood-filled action-adventure filled with the Christmas Spirit that will leave you feeling warm inside and nauseous from the violence.
Our Score is nine out of ten.
Violent Night releases in Theaters on December second.