Violent Night Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas films in general. I really struggle and find that there are so many which are essentially the same film repeated, following similar beats, I’d rather watch a film that takes place at any time of year rather than having a film forced to take place at this time of year and sucking. However, every now and then a film comes along and gives me exactly what a Christmas film should be. The trailer for Violent Night is what sold me and I actually went in very optimistic.

Violent Night sees Santa going about his business delivering presents, when he gets to a house and takes a break to enjoy his milk and cookies. The house is owned by a very wealthy businesswoman who has her family there for Christmas, when they are suddenly broken into by a group of thieves who are out to steal their wealth from the vault, Santa Claus must intervene to save the family and save christmas.

David Harbour gained his big break in the industry when he was cast as Hopper on one of the biggest shows of all time, Stranger Things. Since then, he has gone from background character to leading man, even joining the MCU as Red Guardian in Black Widow and will appear again in Thunderbolts. He also had a failed attempt at Hellboy, which he was clearly passionate about and disappointed didn’t do well. But fans love him none the less. Perfect casting for someone to play Santa Claus, and it’s clear that he had a great time making this over the top, fun action film that delivers exactly what it should be.

The supporting cast all do an okay job doing the job they need to, John Leguizamo perhaps does the best job as the antagonist of the film, again like Harbour knowing exactly what the tone is and not taking it too seriously.

The writers, Josh Miller and Pat Casey knew exactly what they were doing with this script. It’s silly, it’s got some good Christmas related one liners. It’s no surprise that these two writers are behind the Sonic the Hedgehog films. The story isn’t the strongest but it doesn’t need to be, and director Tommy Wirkola (the man responsible for the Dead Snow films) helps deliver some festive fun, and even giving us a back story to Santa and leaving some of the Christmas magic, with a lot of laugh out loud moments on the way too, before you have to cover your eyes for some gruesome and creative kills.

Overall, this Christmas film will land well for action fans, with a surprising amount of gore and gruesome kills which will have some people turning away. But the tone is exactly what it should be and lands. A good and fun performance from David Harbour will have this quickly become a Christmas favourite for action film fans. We’re not looking at an Oscar winner here but some fun, which is what cinema is all about.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

What did you think of Violent Night?

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