Don Reviews "Violent Night"
Christmas movies have been a staple in pop culture for a very long time with everything from “It’s a Wonderful Life” to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” through those debated in the genre like “Die Hard” and “Lethal Weapon”. I can see both sides, but what happens when a film flirts with both sides of the argument? Let’s talk about it.
“Violent Night” is the newest film from director Tommy Wirkola (The Trip, Dead Snow) and stars David Harbor, Alex Hassell, John Leguizamo, Alexis Louder, and Leah Brady. It’s Christmas Eve, and Jason Lightstone (Hassell), his daughter Trudy (Brady), and his estranged wife Linda (Louder) head to his family’s compound for where his mother, Gertrude, is joined by her other child and grandchild. During the very tense festivities, a group of criminals led by a man code-named “ Mr. Scrooge” (Leguizamo) take the family hostage for a large sum of money they believe is on the premises. As all of this is going down, Santa (Harbour) arrives at the home while doing his Christmas Eve duties while dealing with issues of his own… and we go from there.
There are some fun and interesting roles and characters with each actor really giving their all to make the story work. The pacing is great for a movie that just over one hundred minutes long and kept things fun. This all being said, this is a different type of film by mixing so many different types of stories and references I honestly lost count. As “Violent Night” began, I was thinking it was basically a Christmas version of “Die Hard” with thieves committing a robbery at Christmas time while an unexpected character throws a monkey wrench into their plans. As it went on, there were elements of a number of other films that take place this time of year with even more violence than we have seen in those not in the “B” movie category. This could be a new yearly Christmas film tradition for some, but not for the entire family; however, I am still saying “Violent Night” should be seen as a full price in the theater.