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A Christmas Darkish Comedy Caught Between Sleigh And Slay

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What is the which means of Christmas, anyway? It is an concept that takes on the form of an existential disaster for Santa (David Harbour), a grouchy, binge-drinking, public-urinating, splayed mess who laments the general public’s lack of surprise and perception within the season, but additionally rewards an onlooker’s awe with a load of projectile vomit to the face. On his annual present supply route, he finds himself caught in the midst of a house invasion and, bucketloads of blood later, realises that murdering hordes of personality-free dangerous guys is simply what he wanted to convey him again to life. 

Too dangerous that this can be a movie that plots its battle scenes when it comes to amount, not high quality. The motion is gory, however too quick-cut to depart any discernible impression. The occasional strangulation by fairylights and demise by Christmas tree decoration enlivens the lumbering proceedings, however not for lengthy. It’s additionally exhausting to muster sympathy for the household whose house is invaded, precisely the sort of upper-class, one-percenter group that The White Lotus collection and Knives Out movies have had such enjoyable satirising over the previous few years, highlighting their elevated standing earlier than compelling audiences to root for his or her downfall. In Violent Night time, these are terrible folks with shady Center-Japanese offers and $300 million in a downstairs vault. Giving them a redemption arc as a substitute of a well-deserved comeuppance? Learn the room, writers. Every of those characters are broad stereotypes etched with minimal care, although one is such a pointed parody of Mark Wahlberg, all the way down to his proclamation that 9/11 would not have “went down prefer it did” have been he on one of many planes, it’s exhausting to not think about what a delight the movie might’ve been had it dedicated to extra skewerings of the verbal form. 

Violent Night time does have a number of floursishes, particularly when it envisions homicide as a gaggle bonding train, or touches upon how the happiest time of the 12 months will also be the loneliest. In the end, the embrace of a newfound household is sufficient to thaw Santa’s chilly coronary heart. However for this generic ode to festive sentiment, the satan’s within the lacking particulars. 



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