Editor’s Note: The following incorporates spoilers for Violent Night.
Violent Night has all the makings of a future Christmas traditional. It contains a distinctive pitch: Santa Claus (David Harbour) is compelled to dispatch a horde of armed criminals once they invade a wealthy household’s residence. It’s additionally far gorier than the usual Christmas fare, due to director Tommy Wirkola (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters) and producer David Leitch (Deadpool 2, Bullet Train). But underneath all the gore and profanity is a surprisingly transferring story about the idea of “Christmas spirit” — particularly, the feelings of peace and goodwill on Earth that are inclined to fill most individuals’s hearts in holiday-themed films.
And it’s a feeling that Santa has lost. The movie opens with him at a bar, drowning his sorrows in beer instead of milk and cookies. “The whole planet runs on greed,” he growls, lamenting about how children are starting to lose more and more perception in him. A montage solely seems to hammer house the point: Santa arrives at a house stuffed with Amazon packing containers, and he leaves a pile of coal for a drunken father who left his infant daughter too near the TV. He even takes a leak when passing the Washington Monument. Simply put, Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick isn’t feeling notably jolly.
How Santa Revives His Christmas Spirit
Image via Universal Pictures
That adjustments once he visits the family compound that belongs to the wealthy Lightstone household. At first glance, they appear to be the precise type of folks that Santa’s grown to despise. Matriarch Gertrude (Beverly D’Angelo) isn’t seen without a drink in her hand, and daughter Alva (Edi Patterson) is more involved with stepping into her mother’s will than displaying any kind of familial love. The sole individuals who seem like precise human beings are Getrude’s son Jason (Alex Hassell), who’s making an attempt to reconnect together with his estranged wife Linda (Alexis Louder) and give his daughter Trudy (Leah Brady) an excellent Christmas.
In reality, it is Trudy’s perception in Santa that saves the day. Having forgotten to take her to the mall to see Santa, Jason comes up with the clever concept of giving her a walkie-talkie that he says will provide a direct line to Santa. He’s more right than he realizes: after an encounter with one of the thieves who’s broken into the Lightstone mansion, the true Santa picks up his walkie-talkie and ends up connecting with Trudy. All throughout the film, they have conversations about Santa’s bloody past as the Viking warrior Nicomund the Red, and how Santa is struggling to hold onto his Christmas spirit. Even when issues get bleak, Trudy refuses to lose her religion in Santa, which supplies him the vitality essential to dispatch the invaders with excessive prejudice.
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Mr. Scrooge Is Tops on Santa’s Naughty List
Image through Universal Pictures
In distinction, the chief of the thieves, “Mr. Scrooge” (John Leguizamo) has more than earned his place on Santa’s naughty record. He’s decided to stroll away with the $300 million stored in Gertrude’s vault, irrespective of who he has to kill to get it. And he seems to despise the very concept of Christmas, even opening fireplace on the Lightstones’ closely adorned tree with a machine gun. Eventually, Scrooge reveals the reason behind his hatred of Christmas: throughout one holiday season, his father was laid off and wasn’t in a position to afford their annual Christmas celebration. He decided to rob their next door neighbors, however ended up causing the death of an aged man. Therefore, he sees a golden alternative to kill Santa and end Christmas endlessly — however he fails, as Santa uses his ability to journey via chimneys to have the ability to violently dispatch of his opponent.
Yet their battle takes a toll on Santa, and he lies dying. In desperation, Trudy makes an attempt to convince the relaxation of her household to imagine in Santa — they usually do, resurrecting him and his perception in Christmas. Jason even burns the $300 million to maintain him heat, in a really selfless act. Even though he’s been via an extended and violent evening, Santa flies off into the snowy skies, with his Christmas spirit all of the stronger.
Violent Night is now playing in theaters.