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Violent Night – Christmas violence has never been so fun

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Christmas and violence are normally not two tastes that taste good together. Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill towards men.

Then there’s the movie Violent Night. It’s like someone smashed Santa Claus Is Coming To Town into Die Hard.

Santa (played perfectly by David Harbour, of Stranger Things fame) is burned out and despairing that the world has lost the Christmas spirit. Kids are engaged with their electronic devices and always want the next thing, ignoring what they already have.

The family of the piece is a bunch of rich, entitled jerks who certainly don’t have any Christmas spirit, except for the granddaughter Trudy. She still believes and hasn’t yet become jaded and cynical. As the night progresses, her Dad finds an old walkie-talkie he used as a kid, gives it to Trudy, and tells her it is a direct line to Santa.

Much like Hans wanting to rob the Nakatomi building, the villain Scrooge (all the villains have Christmas themed codenames), played perfectly by John Leguizamo, wants to steal $300,000,000 from the rich family, who in turn stole it from the government. As the family gathers for Christmas the villains move in to steal the money. A hostage situation ensues.

Santa is just trying to deliver presents when he ends up at the rich family’s abode. Trudy tries the walkie-talkie and connects with Santa who has just tangled with one of the bad guy’s stooges and taken the walkie-talkie the bad guys use to communicate. He almost walks away, but ends up going back to help Trudy.

The rest of the movie is the inevitable clash between Santa and the bad guys, with the obnoxious family getting between them. There is some backstory on Santa that explains why he is so good at being violent, although they never seem to detail how he transitioned from his former life to that of the jolly old elf. There are some comic bits, some tender bits between Santa and Trudy, and plenty of violent bits where the bad guys get what’s coming to them in a gratuitously violent manner.

If you can separate the two sides of the movie (Christmas cheer and excessive violence) and just accept the movie for what it is, you might enjoy this one. I normally don’t like my Christmas movies with a lot of violence, I’m much more on the ‘peace on Earth’ side of things, but this one hits just the right combination. The interaction between Trudy and Santa drives the violence, which sometimes borders on the absurd, and dare I say, justifies it, as the bad guys are all bad and deserve (?) what they get. Trudy even gets in on the act with some Home Alone inspired traps.

Watch the trailer and see if it might be up your alley. If you’re like me, you might have found a new Christmas favorite.

If you liked this look into the way my mind works, why not buy me a chocolate chip cookie through my Ko-Fi page?

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