Coming to theatres from director Tommy Wirkola and Universal Pictures is a different look about the man from the North Pole with VIOLENT NIGHT.
The holidays are here and Santa Claus (David Harbour) is disillusioned, disgusted and dismayed at what has happened to Christmas. Not his usual ho-ho-ho self, he does the minimum to get the job done and not with an ounce of jolly.
Jason Lightstone (Alex Hassell) gets wife Linda (Alexis Louder) to agree to go to mom Gertrude’s (Beverly D’Angelo) house for Christmas. Taking daughter Trudy (Leah Brady), it becomes clear quickly that there are family issues. Waiting for them is Jason’s sister Alva (Edi Patterson), her bad actor husband Morgan (Cam Gigandet) and son Bert (Alexander Elliot).
There is the usual sibling bickering about the family company and money. That is until all Christmas breaks loose as Mr. Scrooge (John Leguizamo) enters their festivities. He brings his band of merry gun-toting mercenary elves with only one mission – get money and go!
The problem is, they didn’t expect Santa to be in the house who catches on real quick that this is not the house to be visiting. Finding a radio, Santa hears Trudy on her radio telling him not only what she wants for Christmas but what is happening in the house. Wanting to walk away, there is something about Trudy that makes Santa decide that he needs to remember who he is and that makes all the difference.
It’s skull cracking time!
Harbour as Santa Claus is hilarious, sweet, a little vicious but has a story to tell. Once the gang realizes there is a Santa in the house, the chase is on and Harbour gets down and dirty. That makes the film so much more fun in a twisted sort of way. It is next to impossible not to cheer for Harbour’s character and, to be honest, I was all for it. That is part of the fun of the film and trust when I say it is Harbour who makes it thrilling every frame of film.
Leguizamo as Mr. Scrooge is a guy who has serious issues of his own. Money starts out being the motive for the madness but I suspect that Leguizamo’s characters issues run holiday deep. Deciding to go all out to get what he wants, there is nothing or no one, not even Santa that is going to stop this well-designed plan. Then again, Scrooge vs. Santa is a whole other knock down drag out.
Hassell as Jason wants his family back but has to go through a lot this night to see if that can happen. Louder as Linda knows the Lightstone family are a lot but puts it all aside to do the right thing for her daughter, bet she wished she had made other plans! Patterson as Alva is just one hot mess who thinks she has what it takes to take her own brother down, yea, about that…..! Gigandet as Morgan is that family member that just can’t help but show why everyone else rolls their eyes.
Brady as Trudy is just a sweet young girl who wants her parents to be happy and spending Christmas together. When the chaos happens, she reaches out to Santa for help and does not seem surprised when he comes through. There is a bit of another film mixed into Brady’s characters bag of tricks and its pretty funny. Well done young lady, well done. Elliot as Bert portrays all the kids us older folk can’t stand to be around and he does it really well!
Let’s talk about D’Angelo as Gertrude. She is saucy, mouthy and can take a hit. She knows what her family thinks of her and it doesn’t change anything about her naughty attitude. I just love this character and D’Angelo did it all with nothing short of bad attitude sprinkled with Christmas glitter!
Other cast include Brendan Fletcher as Krampus, Mike Dopud as Commander Thorp, Stephanie Sy as Sugarplum, John Lowe as Pub Santa, Andre Eriksen as Bjorn, and Erik Athavale as Richard.
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has just added an amazing film to their library and making it available for us to all experience and re-experience in our own home theaters. There are films of every genre available from scary to drama to family films. For more of what they have to offer please visit www.uphe.com.
VIOLENT NIGHT does not waste a moment and from beginning to end it is Harbour that is a mixture of comedy, drama and charming. Oh sure, Santa has a history and sure he seems like a crushing Ninja but that does not change the fact that he brings gifts to believers. Don’t get me wrong, the film is really violent, really bloody but it is also really hysterical.
Now that being said, it has been quite a while since I’ve seen a film that had me cheering, making faces and dropping my jaw. Okay, so tried to close my eyes and ended up looking through my fingers at one point but darn it was fun. The cast assembled bring a holiday film that I will predict right now will become a holiday tradition (at least in my house).
In the end – you better watch out!