VIOLENT NIGHT (2022) 34 reviews of criminals vs. Santa Claus! – trailer + clips + featurette

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‘You better watch out’
Violent Night is a 2022 American comedy action fantasy film about Santa Claus defending a family from a group of armed criminals.

Directed by Norwegian filmmaker Tommy Wirkola (The Trip; What Happened to MondayDead Snow 2: Red vs DeadHansel & Gretel: Witch HuntersDead Snow) from a screenplay written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller (Sonic the Hedgehog; Transylmania). Produced by Kelly McCormick, David Leitch and Guy Danella. Executive produced by Marc S. Fischer.

The 87North production stars David Harbour (Stranger Things), John Leguizamo (John Wick), Cam Gigandet (Without Remorse), Alex Hassell (Cowboy Bebop), Alexis Louder (The Tomorrow War), Edi Patterson (The Righteous Gemstones) and Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise).

“From 87North, the bare-knuckle producers of Nobody, John Wick, Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Bullet Train and Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw comes a coal-dark holiday action-comedy that says you should always bet on red.”


When a team of armed criminals breaks into a wealthy family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone inside hostage, the villains aren’t prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus (David Harbour) is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Old Nick is no saint…

Release date:
Violent Night will be released theatrically worldwide by Universal Pictures on December 2, 2022.

“Not even some silly dialogue or a pacing lull in the middle can slow down Santa’s lust for carnage here. However, Harbour’s commitment to the role and Wirkola’s affinity for creative gore and violence certainly helps […] With the impressive body count, explosions, excessive bloodshed, heart, and holiday cheer, Violent Night earns an easy spot on the nice list.” 3.5 out of 5, Bloody Disgusting

” …The grisly brutality in Violent Night makes it a far different movie than the relatively squeaky-clean Home Alone. The dialogue and jokes in Violent Night are sometimes a little stale, but people interested in Violent Night aren’t expecting it to be an intellectual film. It’s all about seeing how a grumpy, “loose cannon” Santa Claus acts when he has to fight some people who’ve been very naughty…” Culture Mix

“It’s not all cartoonish violence […] There’s a beating heat under the gore-stained surface that’s surprisingly sweet. After all, the reason Santa got mixed up in this whole affair was to rescue a little girl. We’ve seen in the Netflix series Stranger Things that Harbour knows how to work with kids, and he works brilliantly with Brady. He’s just got such sweet dad energy throughout this…” The Digital Fix


“Make no mistake, you’ll walk away from Violent Night remembering three things: David Harbour’s barbaric Santa Claus, John Leguizamo’s grinch-attitude mercenary, and the ruthless action. If you’re okay with this familiar yet enjoyable formula, then get ready to sit back and relax. Violent Night knows that people came for chaos decked with boughs of holly, and serves it well.” Discussing Film

“David Harbour expertly embodies a shockingly brutal, savage version of Santa Claus that somehow still delivers lovely messages. Fighting sequences feature truly violent practical stunts, taking advantage of the R-rating to provide unmeasurable amounts of gore. Creative use of Christmas songs will leave audiences crying with laughter. A brilliant homage to the seasonal genre classics…” A- First Showing

“Wirkola doesn’t hold back as Home Alone becomes a graphic traps-that-kill homage or Santa pulverizes bone under heavy steel, embracing the B-Movie extremes that more than earn its hard “R” rating. Violent Night might take a hot minute to find its footing and keeps plucking low-hanging wordplay sugar plums, but at full strength, nobody’s stopping Santa from making this year the reddest Christmas imaginable.” IGN

“There is beer-guzzling, drunk urination (over the sleigh), vomit (also over the sleigh), lots of gore, machine guns, and a fair number of explosions. It is gross-out comedy at its peak; the jokes feel quite juvenile at times […] The script digs into the cheese factor of all things holiday; sometimes it works and at others, it is less successful.” 3 out of 5, Josh at the Movies

“The fact that the filmmakers don’t overcomplicate this movie with deeper meaning and unfitting messages is what makes it so enjoyable to watch. At the end of the day, Violent Night is an absolute blast. It is one of the funniest movies of the year. Packed with brutal action that will have you squealing and laughing, Violent Night is a must-watch.” 8 out of 10, Mama’s Geeky

“It’s a movie that is fully committed to its bit. Your milage may vary, but I was entertained. I wouldn’t dare say that Violent Night is an instant Christmas classic, but Tommy Wirkola has crafted a silly, fun piece of yuletide ultraviolence with just enough heart that it isn’t merely defined by its gimmickry.” Mulviews


“The film is kind of a remix of some of the best-known and funniest films set during the holidays. Die Hard, Home Alone, and The Ref are some of the major touchstones of Violent Night. It takes some of the basic setups and then does something new with them while still giving the characters an emotional inner life. It isn’t sentimental but has true feelings.” Nightmarish Conjurings

“Works best when doling out ridiculous action segments, but hits the brakes when dealing with childish schmaltz. This is by no stretch a great movie, but it has enough lunacy to cautiously recommend.” Splatter Critic

” …it’s to the credit of director Tommy Wirkola (What Happened to Monday) that Violent Night finds its own brand of thrilling mayhem and holiday-themed wisecracks, enough so that it steps out of the overwhelming shadow of Bruce Willis. Screenwriters Pat Casey and Josh Miller (the Sonic the Hedgehog movies) keep the action moving forward, but never at the expense of the characters…” The Wrap

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