VIOLENT NIGHT

★★★★

A KILLER CHRISTMAS CLASSIC

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris Dos Santos
1st December 2022

The MA15+ adult Christmas movie doesn't come around too often, but many solid offerings have been staples of the holidays. 'Bad Santa', 'The Night Before', 'Office Christmas Party' and 'A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas' have all found their audiences over the years, but all stick more to the comedy genre and less with the gore. 'Violent Night' hopes to combine horror and hilarity this season.

Santa (David Harbour, 'Hellboy', 'Black Widow') is kind of over Christmas - less and less are kids caring and the gifts are all just video games and money. On Christmas Eve, the Lightstone family gathers at their estate to celebrate the holidays. Trudy (Leah Brady, Netflix's 'The Umbrella Academy'), a young girl who still believes in Santa and wishes nothing more than her parents Jason (Alex Hassell, 'The Tragedy of Macbeth', 'Suburbicon') and Linda (Alexis Louder, 'The Tomorrow War', 'Harriet') to get back together. Her Aunt Linda (Edi Patterson, 'Knives Out', TV's 'The Righteous Gemstones'), actor partner Morgan (Cam Gigandet, 'Twilight', 'Easy A') and son Bert (Alexander Elliot, TV's 'Hardy Boys', Netflix's 'Locke & Key') always try to win over Gertrude's (Beverly D'Angelo, 'Vacation', 'American History X') love and affection, as she has access to a lot of wealth and access. This Christmas things don't go to plan when Mr Scrooge (John Leguizamo, 'The Menu', 'Encanto') and his Christmas-themed henchmen attack the estate and the family is held hostage. This happens at the same time Santa is delivering presents, and he will do anything to save a child who still believes and becomes a killer Claus.

SWITCH: 'VIOLENT NIGHT' TRAILER

If a killer Santa played by David Harbour sounds like a good time to you, then I have the movie for you. 'Violent Night' absolutely delivers on its promise; it's hilarious and gruesome with tonnes of classic Christmas heart. I was expecting some gore but they really go all out - this is a bloody Christmas and it is absolutely delightful. Not only does Harbour absolutely kill in this role, the entire Lightstone family also eat up every scene with every joke landing. The cast is a knockout.

I was expecting some gore but they really go all out - this is a bloody Christmas and it is absolutely delightful.

'Violent Night' is exactly what is sold on the box, in the best possible way. It's the ultimate Christmas gift this festive period; at a time when holiday films are mainly streaming, it was so enjoyable to be in a cinema with the audience "oohing" and "awwing" at all the creative kills. It's hilariously bloody and set to be a new staple of the season.

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