Not many know this, but Violent Night is actually a sequel to the film The Northman. I am not joking; this is one hundred percent a proven fact.
I have proof, damn it! Undeniable hard-hitting proof that will leave you shocked and amazed, possibly even speechless.
I’m skipping ahead a bit in the story, so it might be considered spoilers. Hell, I think I’m also spoiling the story to The Northman as well, so you’ve been warned.
We learn in Violent Night that before donning the red suit, Santa used to be a Viking berserker just like Amleth in The Northman. He was greedy, he murdered, and he stole, he even wielded a special weapon he called Skullcrusher which was just a giant hammer.
They don’t go into too much detail about his Viking lineage or even I’m assuming his death, so that’s where The Northman comes in to put the rest of the pieces together.
In The Northman, Amleth also had a special weapon and was a viking berserker. He spent most of his life stealing and murdering. In both films, they end things surrounded by fire having a battle to the death. In The Northman, it was an erupting volcano. In Violent Night it was a less than impressive fire in the snow.
Also in both films, they die getting their revenge.
So yes, Santa is Amleth from The Northman, who was made Santa Claus after he died. You can’t tell me otherwise!
Shut up! It makes sense, damn it!
Okay fine, that might not be true, but in my head, it is so there. I’m the one writing this review, so my opinion is the only one that matters, damn it.
Violent Night is a fun film, and I had a blast seeing it in the theater. I’m not sure if the only other two people seeing it liked it but screw them.
Violent Night most likely will become another classic to watch around Christmas time like Die Hard or Home Alone.
Speaking of those films, yeah, this film is pretty guilty of borrowing a bit from both. They never reference Die Hard but they do with Home Alone, as the little girl in the film had just spent the night before watching it for the first time and is in love with it like most kids her age.
It even comes back around towards the end when she boobytraps the attic with Home Alone style traps but with much more realistic and gruesome consequences for those on the receiving end.
If you thought a nail through the foot scene was bad, oh boy just wait until you see the places nails go into with this movie.
It’s Christmas Eve and we find Santa having himself a beer at a dingy pub in England. He’s soaking his troubles, as he has grown bitter about the holiday and the greedy kids who want and want, never giving.
Across from him is a mall Santa, also taking a break from the holiday cheer and having himself a pint.
The real Santa soaks his worries, gaining the sympathy of mall Santa, saddened by his lack of holiday cheer. But before he leaves, he hands the bartender a present for her grandson, just to save him some trouble delivering it later that night.
Curious to see him leave through the roof exit, she follows him out, watches as he flies away in his sleigh, pulled by his magical reindeer.
He also pukes on her head as he flies away, so there’s that. Yum.
Like Die Hard, the story takes place in a single location. Instead of a skyscraper, we are at a heavily guarded mansion compound, owned by Christmas Vacation star herself Beverly D’Angelo. She’s an oil tycoon and a massive bitch to her employees and even her own family.
Her family includes a son and daughter, her daughter Alva is a suck up, played by Edi Patterson who is basically playing her character from The Righteous Gemstones.
She’s accompanied by her new husband or new boyfriend I can’t remember which, who is this wannabe action movie star, who talks up his fight choreography skills. Even claiming he’d kick the ass of the terrorists who hijacked the planes on 9/11. So obviously he’s going to be the first one to die.
She has one teen son who is a complete dirtbag tiktoker, who the grandmother had to pay off the school when he got charged with sexual harassment.
Now moving on to the nicer side of the family, we have Jason and his divorced wife Linda and their adorable daughter Trudy, the one who just watched Home Alone and loves all things Santa related as she’s the only one in this group who still believes in him.
We get a montage of Santa visiting houses, eating their terrible cookies, drinking their terrible milk, and getting disparaged by the fact that people only want gift cards and cash as presents.
His next stop is to the Lightstone family and their heavily guarded compound. Or so they think as a crew of deadly mercenaries have infiltrated the mansion, posing as caterers.
Even the head of security is in on it. All this is being spearheaded by John Leguizamo who goes only by Scrooge. All the kidnappers actually have Christmas related codenames like Gingerbread, Candy Cane, Sugarplum, Frosty… You get the idea.
Gingerbread is our head of security. And Candy Cane is our short hair badass lady assassin that specializes in handling knives.
The family gets quickly taken hostage while Santa is upstairs enjoying the cookies Trudy made him, washing it down with some fancy liquor.
He’s also taken a liking to the massage chair, which puts him asleep.
While the mercs search the house, one stumbles upon Santa and the two get into a bit of a tussle.
During the fight, machinegun fire from a rifle scares off Santa’s reindeer, leaving him stranded at the worst time. He’s also kind of lost a bit of his holiday magic, so sparking his nose to go up chimneys has gone on the fritz.
The whole nose thing comes into play later to give us one hell of a gruesome death scene. That’s one thing I’ll say, this film doesn’t hold back on the blood and gore.
Things get messy once things start to kick off. This is no PG-13 Krampus bullshit. They wear their R rating proudly. Which should have been obvious from the start with the whole puking scene.
The goal of the mercs is pretty simple, the grandmother has been keeping a whopping 300 million dollars in a safe somewhere in the mansion and they are there to steal it.
Sugarplum’s job is to break in, while Krampus and the others is to watch the hostages. However, with Santa running around the house, killing folks, the team is split up.
Because Trudy didn’t get to see Santa at the mall this year, she worries Santa won’t give her what she really wants this Christmas. But if you’ve ever seen a Christmas movie with divorced parents, you already know what she’s going to ask for.
To make up for his mistake, her dad gives her his old walkie talkie, which he claims is a direct line to Santa himself. Which ends up being true, as Santa grabs a walkie off one of the hostage takers he just killed by shoving a light up Christmas ornament through his eye.
Scrooge is tired of his men dying, so he threatens to crush some balls in a nutcracker if they don’t start talking and tell him who this Santa character is.
Trudy claims it’s Santa before managing to escape, hiding in the attic.
Meanwhile, the grandmother is acting pretty snoody for someone about to lose 300 million and with her family in danger. That’s because she has a kill squad of special military contractors ready to storm the compound.
But Scrooge already knows about them and is preparing for their arrival. But he still has that pesky Santa running around that he needs to deal with first.
Which now that I think about it, is caught pretty quickly. He gets knocked out and tied to a chair, with Scrooge and others torture him for answers like just who the hell he is and who he works for.
They don’t like the Santa Claus answer so the torturing continues.
Thankfully Trudy is just above them in the attic, using fake snow as a distraction for Santa to slip away up the chimney.
There is more to this scene, as it gives Scrooge a bit more backstory. He hates Christmas and tells Santa just why pretending to be Santa really isn’t the best idea around him. But of course Santa knows who he is and breaks it to him that his job is to only deliver presents, nothing else. That’s why his pleas for Santa fell on deaf ears.
With Santa once again on the lamb, the military contractors have finally arrived.
But with a twist, they too are in on the heist, setting their sights on Santa as he does battle with this heavily armed band of killers.
Just how much is everyone getting? I mean, 300 million split like 30 ways… for everyone to get a cut that would be like… 10 million each, right? Again math isn’t my forte. Does 10 million sound like enough to you, to do all this? I guess so, but I’ve never thought about putting a price on murder, especially a 6 year old kid.
Anyway, Santa takes cover in a shed, where he finds himself a sledgehammer. It’s not as good as his hammer Skullcrusher, but it will do in a pinch.
Santa goes on a murderous killing spree, taking out half the forces sent to kill him. All in various violent ways, one even involving a candy cane as a shiv.
Trudy gets cornered by Candy Cane (the person, not the candy), but is rescued by Santa at the last minute. I thought maybe he might let her live as she was the first to get convinced this was the real Santa and seemed to regret her actions. But no, head gets flattened with a sledgehammer just like everyone else.
This Santa don’t fuck around. Maybe because he’s Amleth from The Northman who killed not only his own brother by mother as well.
What! I’m telling you, they’re the same person!
In another twist, we find out the money is no longer in the vault, but was stolen by Jason, who had planned to take the money and disappear with his family, leaving his kind of evil grandmother behind.
But now that he has been found out, he is forced to reveal where he stashed it. The Christ manger of course.
Scrooge takes the money and kidnaps the grandmother to make a quick getaway, escaping on snow mobiles.
Santa follows in pursuit where Scrooge and Santa do battle. I won’t say how it ends exactly, just know that Scrooge dies and so does Santa, only to be brought back by the belief in him and Christmas. It’s magic, not even he knows how it works.
And that’s Violent Night. It’s a fun action movie, that doesn’t really break the mold or anything, but it did what it set out to do, be Die Hard but with Santa. Which is something Max Landis always tried to preach about screenwriting. Take something already established and add a twist to it.
Like for example, off the top of my head, Home Alone, but with werewolves. And since the long awaited sequel is coming out pretty soon. Avatar, Dances with Wolf but with aliens.
I give Violent Night a SEE IT rating. As much as I enjoyed Fatman, another violent Santa movie, Violent Night is a much better film even if it didn’t have Walton Goggins in it.
Want EARLY access to our videos, uploads, and movie/script reviews? Members get them FIRST! Follow this link to our Discussion Forum.