14 Days of Christmas Horror | Violent Night

This festive season, we guide you through 14 days of Christmas Horror and first up, Violent Night, starring David Harbour. 

christmas horror violent night

‘Tis may be the season for romantic comedies set in idyllic English cottages or whimsical tales of elves lost in New York, but if you’re in the mood for something a little more gory, we’ve got your back.

We guide you through 14 days of Christmas Horror. First up, Violent Night, starring David Harbour. 

Warning! This article contains spoilers for Violent Night!

We’re going to ease you into this fortnight of violent delights and what’s a better way to start than to have a closer look at Violent Night, now in cinemas. 

David Harbour stars as Santa Claus (the real one) who has become truly disenchanted with modern, increasingly commercial Christmas. As he’s delivering presents to the Lightstone mansion, he gets caught up in a robbery attempt, led by the vicious Scrooge (John Leguizamo). 

But this is not your regular, jolly, big-bellied Santa. Director Tommy Wirkola and writers Patrick Casey and Josh Miller give this Father Christmas a kick-ass backstory. We glimpse at his past as a badass Viking-like hero named Nikamund the Red, armed with a helmet and his trusted weapon, a ginormous hammer pertinently called the Skullcrusher.  

violent night sleigh

Credit: Universal Pictures

This certainly isn’t the first time Santa has had a bit of a makeover, but it’s still a relatively new concept. We’re more used to the white-bearded gentleman with a warm smile, like Richard Attenborough in Miracle on 34th Street (1994) or Ed Asner as Elf. They’re a comforting screen presence; like our collective grandfather. 

Recently though, we’ve had some edgier Santas. In Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Santa Claus is a devilish, almost demonic entity. He’s thin and often almost crouching, following your every move with his beady eyes. It’s definitely the stuff of nightmares; you wouldn’t want this Santa coming down your chimney. 

Over on Netflix, Kurt Russell has played Santa Claus twice; in The Christmas Chronicles and The Christmas Chronicles 2. While this is still your regular Santa with a red outfit and a big, bushy beard, Russell’s Santa had some swagger and dare we say, sex appeal. Russell’s version was also funny and witty. 

While Harbour definitely makes Santa into an action star, the evolution of Santa Claus has been pretty fascinating. In Violent Night, he gets to kick the bad guys’ heads in and blow them to pieces, only to resume his yearly job of delivering presents after Mrs. Claus sends him the real Skullcrusher. 

Violent Night is delightfully violent and gory, the perfect antidote for those who aren’t in the mood for the sickly sweet tales of Christmas love. 

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