On Oct. 4, Universal Pictures released the trailer for “Violent Night,” which promises bloodshed at the hands of Santa Clause. The trailer dropped at the perfect moment for those in horror mode for Halloween and people looking forward to Christmas.
The movie follows Santa Clause (David Harbour) as he drops off gifts for those on the nice list, including a wealthy family whose house is being robbed by Ben (John Leguizamo) and his goons. Santa’s run-in with the burglars leads to the jolly man teaching these naughty list residents a lesson (And yes, he gives some of them coal).
Based on the trailer, it sets itself apart from other holiday flicks by combining the whimsical magic of the “The Santa Clause” movies with the slaughter seen in “Black Christmas.” The CGI showing Santa’s whimsical mode of transportation is reminiscent of the former, along with the sight of Chris Cringle riding his sleigh.
The trailer shows Santa as a vigilante who gives to the good but punishes the bad. In the past, there have been polarized adaptations of him. “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen as the titular character shows him to be a complicated person growing into this role but makes his best effort to cater to good children all over the world. A stark contrast to the Disney franchise is “Santa’s Slay”; it interprets Santa (Bill Goldberg) as a demon who had to give gifts for a thousand years after losing a bet but gladly returns to slaying. “Violent Night” shoots for the middle where he gives gifts to people on the nice list, such as Trudy (Leah Brady), and punishes the naughty with items ranging from decorations to exploding coal.
The fact that Trudy, a child that believes in Santa, is likely the biggest motivation for Santa to take down the big bad burglars will guarantee the audience smiles. At the beginning of the trailer, Trudy is gifted a device from her parents to talk to Santa; Trudy and Santa’s conversations could assure smiles and warm hearts of viewers. It is a relief for those dreading Christmas movies with snotty kid trope where they “turn good” by the end, as seen in “Krampus.”
The film’s overall plot is similar to “Home Alone,” another holiday movie favorite, where a stranded Kevin (Macaulay Culkin)must protect his home from intruders. Instead of hilarious booby traps and a frighteningly clever child, the intruders are slaughtered by the magical protagonist.
Hopefully, the trailer did not give all the good parts away and there are more holiday horrors to come when the movie comes out on Dec. 2. Whether critics love it or hate it, “Violent Night” could guarantee high entertainment and a unique take on Santa Clause.
“Violent Night” will be released only in theaters on Dec. 2.