5/10 A holiday hybrid of multiple films, “Violent Night” is a ridiculous, silly, over the top, unrealistic B-movie but that is a lot of fun if you turn your brain off and just let the carnage unfold. Where the movie lacks originality, it makes up for with some great and gory violence, especially near the end of the movie. I’ll focus on the negatives before ending on a positive note with what worked here. This movie is essentially what would happen if you threw “Die Hard”, “Home Alone”, “Fatman” and “Bad Santa” into a blender. The premise is unoriginal as it steals from those superior films and several of the main characters are so unlikable that I was rooting for the bad guys to kill them, which is never a good sign. Making your characters flawed is one thing but they should have some redeeming qualities, which virtually no one had outside of Leah Brady as Trudy Lightstone (the little girl in the movie) and Santa Claus himself, cast perfectly as David Harbour. There were also really dumb moments that were completely unnatural but done so to end up with a bloodier result. My main example of this is a character who for absolutely no reason at all is looking closely to examine a nail and therefore putting it right to his own face/eye. Why would he do this? For no reason other than a bowling ball upstairs is rolling towards him, making what happens next very predictable but incredibly stupid. There are several moments like that in the movie that were just too much. I am all for over the top fun but some of it had me unable to suspend my disbelief. Santa has trouble with one on one fights earlier on in the movie but then is easily able to fight off 15 armed men later in the movie, after he has sustained major injuries. Come on, now. The score was forgettable and while fight scenes taking place while Christmas music played was brilliant, I felt the Christmas song selections were rather weak and better songs could have been picked for the fight scenes. That being said, there were certainly elements in the movie which worked. The casting was spot on with Harbour being the obvious example. There were some laugh out loud moments, many of which came from Cam Gigandet as Morgan Steel and his blatant stupidity. The fight choreography and action scenes were fun as they did a solid job of utilizing whatever objects happened to be around as weapons and the over the top gore was comical, putting a smile on my face. The pacing worked well and even though the movie is closer to two hours, it flew by relatively quickly. This is definitely a movie where you can have a few drinks or smoke something before/while watching for maximum enjoyment if either of those are your cup of tea. I enjoyed that they even gave Santa a back story which was surprisingly badass. In the end, the pros and the cons even each other out, making for a mediocre movie, but one whose enjoyment will rely upon your expectations. If you are expecting an intelligent, deeply developed character study then you will be disappointed. However, if you want to turn off your brain and laugh at some blood and gore as people get stabbed to death with candy canes, then there is certainly fun to be had here. Living up to its title, “Violent Night” makes both the naughty and nice list.

#CarolOfTheHells / #MangerThings / #SlayRide / #GlockinAroundTheChristmasTree / #FightChristmas / #WeWishYouAScaryChristmas

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