Tommy Wirkola’s hard-edged holiday movie, Violent Night, first premiered late last year. Reminiscent of other classics like Die Hard and Home Alone, the film follows a cynical Santa Claus as he tries to save a little girl’s wealthy family from a mercenary group that took them hostage on Christmas Eve.
Where can you watch Violent Night in the UAE?
Violent Night is now streaming on OSN+ in the UAE. Subscribing to OSN+ is AED 35 per month, but keep looking for yearly deals that drop the pricing considerably. There is also a free seven-day trial to decide if you’d like to be a paying subscriber.
Violent Night review
- Excellent death scenes
- David Harbour
- Fun homage to Christmas classics
- The family drama parts are boring
When we first meet Santa Claus (played by David Harbour), he is drowning his sorrows in a pub. The once-jovial Saint Nick has had enough of Christmas, humanity, and the lack of gratitude from kids. After downing a few drinks, he stumbles to his sleigh and flies off to distribute presents worldwide.
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Santa Claus ends up at the Lightstone mansion, where billionaire matriarch Gertrude (Beverly D’Angelo) is celebrating the holiday with her family. Gertrude’s favourite son Jason (Alex Hassell) is there with his estranged wife Linda (Alexis Louder) and their young daughter Trudy (Leah Brady), the only family member who still believes in Santa.
Gertrude’s daughter Alva (Edi Pattersonis) attends the event with her moronic actor boyfriend Morgan Steel (Cam Gigandet) and her social media influencer teen son, Bertrude (Alexander Elliot). Yes, both Lightstone siblings are so desperate for their mother’s approval that they named their kids variants of the name “Gertrude.”
While Santa busies himself eating cookies, drinking expensive liquor, and taking a little nap, the mansion finds itself under siege by a group of mercenaries led by a man who calls himself Scrooge (John Leguizamo). Given the occasion for their heist, all members of the criminal endeavour are using Holiday-themed code names such as Gingerbread (André Eriksen), Krampus (Brendan Fletcher), and Candy Cane (Mitra Suri).
At first, Santa wants nothing to do with the heist and tries to exit quietly. But he changes his mind and decides to help after speaking to little Trudy through her secret walkie-talkie. What follows is a delightfully violent homage to the Die Hard franchise with a gorier version of Home Alone thrown in.
Violent Night does exactly what it says on the tin, mostly helped by Harbour’s excellent portrayal of the not-so-jolly white-bearded Santa. This version of the character comes with an endearing cynicism that Harbour perfectly brings to life.
Leguizamo also gives a perfect portrayal of the Santa-hating Scrooge. It takes a certain type of villain to take a whole family hostage on Christmas Eve, and the actor brings that unhinge-ness to life.
On the flip side, none of the family members have redeeming features. Aside from Trudy, the Lightstone family is a group of despicable individuals who seem to despise one another. As interesting as Santa’s character arc is, the family drama is boring and out of touch. Even Scrooge is a more relatable character than any of the Lightstone adults.
Saying that, this film is well worth a watch. It blends comedy with gory action scenes, and it’s clear the cast had a lot of fun making it.
What are the other critics saying about Violent Night?
Chris Stuckmann enjoyed watching Santa Claus kill many people in violent ways and liked the Die Hard and Home Alone homage.
Austin Burke didn’t care much about the family drama aspect of the movie but did enjoy the parts where Santa Claus got to play the action hero.
Movies and Munchies praised David Harbour’s portrayal of a heavy–drinking cynical version of Santa Claus.