Tommy Wirkola is back after last year’s The Trip (available on Netflix) to the snow tinted realm of horror…. but not quite.
This time around he cooked up a christmas black comedy that has been described as “Die Hard but with Santa Claus instead of John McClain”… because it’s pretty much that, set in a rich family’s villa where a group of terrorists (with the leader played by John Leguizamo) lies in wait to get their hands on a big chunk of million money.
It just happens that by accident the real, factual Santa Claus finds himself in that very house when shit goes down, and decides to fight them to save the family, especially as the younger child earnestly believes in him, by way of some magic, a warhammer and a lot of gruesome violence.
Yeah, it isn’t strictly a horror movie, it’s definitely heavy on action and comedy as you would expect from this deliberate pastiche of Die Hard and christmas movie, but again, it’s a Tommy Wirkola film, so it doesn’t really matter that this isn’t a new installment of Dead Snow or a christmas slasher, because we also get to see Santa pile up a more than respectable bodycount, using everything from ornaments to shovel to woodchippers and even a warhammer (tied to his backstory/lore here)
Heck, for good measure there is a straight up Home Alone “trap scene” and even that provides a lot of gore effects played for laughs that will still make you go “OW”.
There’s also the “Bad Santa” angle to the main character, but not quite, since he IS real here, and otherwise the surprisingly decent emotional moments would lose any kind of weight.
Violent Night it’s a pastiche of familiar elements indeed, but it’s a bloody fun holiday romp, too.