Violent Night

  • 10 Dec - 16 Dec, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Santa Claus must spread Christmas joy but what happens when he needs some cheering himself? It takes a little girl called Gertrude nicknamed Trudy to get this Santa in distress (David Harbour) out of his self-inflicted misery. Can he find his mojo and rescue her wealthy family from an elite team of mercenaries?

Stranger Things’ bitter, skeptical man with a drinking problem – Jim Hopper aka David Harbour is back and his character in Violent Night is pretty much a reincarnation of Hopper attributes. Oh and he must protect a little girl in this film, too. Like Hopper, Santa is inherently kind and caring but exhausted by the opportunism and lack of empathy he sees around. He is tired of being a giver in a thankless society. He thinks it’s time to hang up his boots as Santa, as he ceases to believe in the magic of love and hope. “Grown-ups have a hard time believing”, he tells Trudy, a little girl who believes in magic. When a bunch of mercenaries break into her house, the good fat Santa must shockingly resort to extreme violence in order to save Trudy and her dysfunctional family.

Violent Night gives an interesting spin to the cheesy Christmas movies. White Christmas pretty much turns red with all the action, violence and bloodshed on display. The good old Santa beating the s*** out of the bad guys is strangely satisfying and humorous. There are ample jokes (good and bad) to keep you engaged but it doesn’t create the magic of the iconic Home Alone (1990) despite the booby traps and the mansion being ransacked by burglars premise.

The action works but the emotional 'feel good' exchange between Santa and the little girl feels pretentious and plain forgettable. The film's attempt to subvert the genre tropes ends up making it a hotchpotch of classics minus the thrill and excitement. It’s definitely not meant for kids given the violence but if you are in the mood to watch a good guy gone bad story, you might like this one.