In a Bristol watering hole, Santa as played by David Harbour is drowning his sorrows. Another Christmas and he’s all out of ho ho ho but far from being a stand-in Santa for the festive season, he’s actually the real deal. He is the real Santa Claus and the shine of being Father Christmas has clearly worn off. However, that’s all going to change when he gets stuck in an obnoxiously rich household who are under siege from armed robbers led by John Leguizamo. Intent on leaving the house with pots of cash, it is the sole good egg, eight-year-old Trudy who manages to raise Santa on an old walkie-talkie. What then ensues is an ongoing firefight between Santa and the naughty list robbers which goes on for an hour or so.
… wilts quicker than flame-retardant tinsel.
And there you have it. The ending you can guess and the movie’s Home Alone meets Die Hard premise wilts quicker than flame-retardant tinsel. Whilst David Harbour and John Leguizamo are clearly better than the material they’ve been given, rising star Alexis Louder similarly tries to make the best of a tiresome script.
So while Violent Night suffers from a lack of wit or originality, it attempts to supplant these critical deficiencies with body gore and an increasing body count. Santa slays all before him and the Christmas tropes roll out on cue, slathered like tripe on a decaying turkey.
Ultimately in what amounts to an assembly kit of much better scenes you’ve seen in other movies, director Tommy Wirkola delivers what you’d expect of him in a Christmas offering that doesn’t really warrant unwrapping. If you need to see bad guys being picked off with ice picks, shovels, sledgehammers, bowling balls and Christmas baubles then there are other, better, more deserving movies to distract you on Netflix, Apple, Amazon or any other entertainment service. You know their names. If you can’t remember which classics I’m referring to, trust me, Violent Night will be at pains to remind you,