A team of mercenaries attacks a wealthy family on
Christmas Eve, and only Santa Claus can save them.
Violent Night (2022)
Directed by Tommy Wirkola
Written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller
Starring David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell,
Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Cam Gigandet, Beverly D'Angelo,
Leah Brady, Alexander Elliot, Mike Dopud
Every time I think Hollywood has run out of original ideas, something like this comes along. Combine elements of Die Hard and Home Alone with a little Christmas magic and you get one of the goriest, over-the-top, action comedies in recent years. Santa Claus thwarts a home invasion. That's the whole premise, and thanks to inspired performances from David Harbour and John Leguizamo, it works the entire time. Violent Night has quickly become one of my favorite Christmas movies, as well as one of my favorite films of 2022.
The rich, greedy, insufferable Lightstone family reunites at the grandma Gertrude's (D'Angelo) compound for Christmas Eve. That same night, a team of mercenaries with holiday-themed codenames take them hostage and try to break into grandma's vault. Amazingly, this is the same year that Santa Claus (Harbour) is having second thoughts about Christmas. He's tired of the greediness of children and is starting to consider retirement. He ends up trapped in the Lightstone house and hears the Christmas wish of little Trudy Lightstone (Brady), who begs his help to save her family. Reinvigorated with Christmas spirit, Santa taps into his inner Viking warrior (a backstory we regrettably didn't get more of) and FUCKS SHIT UP. Santa destroys the mercs with a vengeance, releasing thousands of years of pent-up holiday rage. Frankly, it's glorious.
Violent Night is hilarious, insane, unforgettable, and surprisingly heartfelt all at the same time. David Harbour is an amazing movie Santa. He's equal parts warm friendly elf and jaded asshole. Think Tim Allen meets Billy Bob Thornton. I really hope this film does well. It's destined to become a holiday classic akin to Black Christmas or Krampus.