David Harbour in Gory Holiday Charmer – The Hollywood Reporter

Have you ever torn the wrapping off a promised Christmas present, only to find that once you unwrapped it and put the pieces together, it wasn’t quite what you hoped for? Is it poorly made or not what it claims to be or is it less fun than you expected?

by Tommy Wirkola A violent night A blessing, not a gift. It’s one that delivers exactly what it promises on the box. It doesn’t necessarily deliver much More It is more than promised on the box, but then it is not necessary. For those whose idea of ​​a home-invasion comedy-thriller has self-evident appeal, starring David Harbor as a sledgehammer-wielding Kris Kringle, it’s destined to become an alt-holiday classic.

A violent night

The bottom line

Holiday charm soaked in blood.

Release Date: Friday, December 2
Cast: David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Lauder, Leah Brody, Beverly D’Angelo, Edie Patterson, Cam Gigandet
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Cast: Pat Casey, Josh Miller

Rated R, 1 hour 41 minutes

Pat Casey and Josh Miller’s script immediately announces its brand of gleefully tasteless humor. When we first meet this version of Santa, he’s slumped over a bar in Bristol, whining about his job and lamenting how materialistic children have become these days. Still, once he’s off the barstool and onto the roof, the sight of him climbing up with his reindeer makes for a magical moment for the bartender, who watches the whole thing…and on her face. According to our Christmas story this, and this A violent night Tells you that you can take it or leave it.

From there, Santa goes about his rounds with less than minimal effort, resentfully baking cookies left for him by all the good kids in the world even as he stuffs his face. But the night takes an unexpected turn with his stop by the Lightstone compound, where the grown children of a ruthless businessman (Beverly D’Angelo) fall in. Inheritance-Fights on her behalf. (Or maybe it should be Gems of justice-esque, daughter Judy Gemstone type played by Judy Gemstone herself, Edie Patterson; (Alex Hassell plays the son.)

This Christmas Eve, however, the real threat comes from outside the clan: a group of armed mercenaries have taken the entire family hostage, including a tear-jerkingly obnoxious impressionist (Alexander Elliott) who is facing sexual assault charges at an already ripe age. Age 13 – But Trudy (Leah Brody), a kind and intelligent 7-year-old who earns a spot on Santa’s “nice” list.

And so Santa, unable to get away from Trudy’s whispered pleas for help, finds himself fighting alone through a building crawling with bad guys. Meanwhile, Trudy, who has managed to sneak into the attic, sets about improvising traps to protect herself. In other words, A violent night Riffs on both Die hard And Home Alone, but taken to their hard-R logical extremes under Wirkola’s over-the-top gory direction. Santa doesn’t dispatch his enemies quickly or cleanly but smashes their faces with jewels and chops their heads off with ice skates in brutal fistfights choreographed by Jonathan “Jojo” Eusebio (John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum); Trudy takes Kevin McAllister’s already painful-looking booby traps and turns them into full-on blood-soaked affairs.

A violent night Shows more restraint on the narrative front, clocking in at a relatively trim 101 minutes. There’s a reason this Santa looks ready for battle, and there’s a reason the main villain (“Mr. Scrooge,” played by John Leguizamo) is duking it out for the holidays. But the movie knows we’re not really here to get bogged down in the weeds of Scrooge’s psychology or the new Santa lore, and so throws in enough detail to add some shade as these characters try to outwit each other. Nor does it bother to explain the magic of who Santa is; As Santa himself wearily explains to one confused human adult after another, he doesn’t really know how his Christmas magic works, it just does.

Yet this mysterious yuletide spirit is so powerful that its spell will eventually reach A violent night himself. Santa may be a bitterly self-loathing figure who never looks more alive than when he poked a dude in the eye with a candy cane, but Harbor brings a touching honesty to his interactions with Trudy. And amidst the graphic violence and twisted jokes, the film manages to fulfill all the hallmarks of a classic Christmas movie: a reminder that the day is about more than material gifts, the redemptive power of a child’s faith in Santa, the importance of family unity in a greedy and selfish world.

The difference is in that This is movie, when a little girl’s face lights up to see one of Santa’s signature accoutrements, it’s not his bag of toys or his reindeer, but the sledgehammer he affectionately calls the Skullcrusher. And the line “Santa Claus is coming to town” isn’t meant to be a celebratory shout, but a hilarious menacing shout.

to call A violent night Heartwarming can be a bridge too far. It’s yet another movie that asks, “How many Christmas-themed props can we turn into weapons?” seems to be largely built around the question of (Answer: most of them, apparently! Try hard not to think That is (Next time some eggnog-drinking relative tries your last nerve over the last slice of glazed ham.) But with their gingerbread soaked in booze and sprinkled with their tinny gore, A violent night Season calls may be accurate.

Leave a Comment