While the concept of dark Christmas movies aren’t new – with 2003’s Bad Santa probably being the most famous example – more are always welcome. And this year, we’re promised a doozy because David Harbour is starring as a Santa Claus who has to step in to – violently – help a family in need in the brilliantly-named Violent Night.
The first trailer has been released and we first meet Santa in a bar, enjoying a relaxing drink. The Boys‘ Alex Hassell and Watchmen’s Alexis Louder play the wealthy parents of young Trudy Lightstone, who is very excited for Christmas. They give her an early present – a walkie-talkie that means she can talk to Santa.
But Christmas Eve is ruined when John Leguizamo and his gang of mercenaries invade the palatial mansion, looking to make away with the $300 million in their personal vault. When Santa comes down the chimney, he becomes embroiled in the heist and finds himself stepping in to help defend the family. He has to use all of the Christmas decorations and presents at his disposal to help dispatch the baddies and save Christmas.
With one of the best pun titles we’ve heard in years – and lines of dialogue such as “time for some seasons beatings” – it looks like we’re onto a winner with this action comedy. Violent Night is from the producers of Nobody, and it’s clearly going to use a very similar style of John Wick infused action. But with Father Christmas being the one dolling out the high-kicks and karate chops.
David Harbour got us hyped for Violent Night at CinemaCon back in April 2022. “Don’t you love action movies? Who doesn’t love a great action movie, right? How about Christmas movies? So, what about a movie that’s a great action movie, and the greatest Christmas movie in one? Die Hard. Fucking Die Hard.”
“Now what if…wait a minute, wait a minute. What if kick-ass director Tommy Wirkola and the badass producers at 87North, you know, the maniacs who did Atomic Blonde and John Wick and Nobody and Hobbs and Shaw, were behind it all?” He continued. “And, wait a minute, what if I started in it as fucking Santa Claus? Oh, do I swing a mother fucking hammer?”
Harbour makes many compelling points, it’s hard to deny. We at The Digital Fix are currently in Halloween mode and can’t think about Christmas yet. But, if you want to get some early festive spirit going in your house, check out our guide to the best Christmas movies.