Violent Night Blu Ray Review (Universal)
Violent Night is a 2022 Christmas-themed action film directed by Tommy Wirkola (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Dead Snow, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, and The Trip). It was written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller (Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Into the Dark, 12 Deadly Days, and Team Hot Wheels films). It was produced by David Leitch (Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, John Wick, Deadpool 2, Bullet Train, and Atomic Blonde). A sequel is rumored to be development right now!!!!!
In Greenwich, Connecticut, Jason Lightstone (played by: Alex Hassell from The Boys) with his wife Linda (played by: Alexis Louder from Watchmen), and their 7-year-old daughter Trudy (played by: Leah Brady from The Umbrella Academy) visit his mother Gertrude’s (played by: Beverly D’Angelo from The Vacation franchise, Tales from the Crypt, Lansky, American History X, Eye for an Eye, and Lightning Jack) mansion to celebrate Christmas. The other guests include his sister Alva (played by: Edi Patterson from Knives Out), her boyfriend/wannabe-action star Morgan Steel (played by: Cam Gigandet from the Twilight franchise), and online streamer son Bertrude (played by: Alexander Elliot from The Hardy Boys). Trudy talks to someone claiming to be Santa an old walkie-talkie, Jason and Linda overhear her only wish: to become a family again. Drunkenly delivering gifts, Santa Claus (played by: David Harbour from Stranger Things, Hellboy, Black Widow, Suicide Squad, Black Mass, and The Equalizer) arrives at the Lightstone estate where the caterers reveal themselves to be mercenaries with Christmas-themed codenames. Led by “Mr. Scrooge” (played by: John Leguizamo from The Menu, Spawn, Summer of Sam, John Wick 1/2, Kick-Ass 2, Super Mario Bros, and Carlito’s Way), they slaughter the staff and take the family hostage. Santa is discovered by one of the henchmen, whose gunfire scares away the reindeer/ All hell breaks loose for everyone around. Blood covers this snowy environment when the chaos gets worse and worse during this dangerous situation. The mercenaries are looking for a big payout tonight. Gertrude’s private “kill squad” led by Commander Thorp (played by: Mike Dopud from The Predator) shows up to save the day but it is it too late? This dysfunctional family and a bad ass Santa are trying their best to survive this violent night. Will it happen????
Violent Night is already one of my all time favorite Christmas films only after a few viewings. It’s definitely one of the best and most entertaining movies of last year also. I’ve been a fan of director Tommy Wirkola since his first Dead Snow feature. He always has great visuals, special fx, and production design for all his projects. Violent Night is no different, this is his best film so far. The script is lots of fun. It blends several different sub-genres here like crime, action, comedy, drama, & Christmas but it’s not your typical Xmas movie. All of the characters have their own personalities and they stand out from each other. To be honest, most of them are not very likeable until the end. I actually enjoyed that aspect of Violent Night, you don’t really care who gets killed until it gets really serious for everyone. David Harbour was amazing as the lead here. You have never seen Santa Clause like this before! I love his unique spin on the iconic Saint Nick, he was a bad ass in Violent Night. John Leguizamo had a killer comeback year with this and The Menu in 2022. Like I said before, most of the people in Violent Night are bad so he didn’t come off as evil as most criminals would be in your standard heist flick. He was a different kind of baddie and it worked here. He always plays a great villain and I thought it was cool that his entire crew had Christmas names as their aliases. It’s great to see Beverly D’Angelo get a bigger role after all these years, she always delivers. The supporting cast which includes Alex Hassell, Cam Gigandet, Alexis Louder, Leah Brady, Edi Patterson, Alexander Elliot, and Brendan Fletcher (Night Hunter and Freddy vs. Jason) is great here. Violent Night is action packed plus it has some solid twists. This one was way more brutal than expected. For a bigger movie, I was impressed on how far it went. This Christmas movie has high replay value and it’s added to my annual Xmas feature list forever. If you haven’t seen this yet, do yourself a favor and check it out on Peacock right now. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks fantastic on blu ray. I am really surprised that this one didn’t get a 4K/UHD release. Like I said above, Violent Night has some high quality visuals and production design. It has a few different audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, French (Canada): DTS 5.1, Spanish: DTS-HD HR 7.1, and English: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the disc. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, all the chaos is elevated, and the music has a killer boost to it here. It also has English SDH, French, Spanish, and Mandarin subtitles. This home video release is impressive when it comes to both video and audio!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Universal! “Audio Commentary” with Director Tommy Wirkola, Producer Guy Danella, Writer Pat Casey, and Writer Josh Miller. A little over 19 minutes of “Deleted and Extended Scenes” which includes Family Arrives at the Mansion, Jason and Linda in Bedroom, Krampus Sees Trudy’s Radio, Santa on the Roof, Walk to the Manger, Family Resolution, Bad Dad, Cast Call Back, and Extended Scenes. “Quarrelin’ Kringle” is almost 4 minutes. This one focuses on lead actor David Harbour. “Santa’s Helpers: The Making of Violent Night” is almost 6 minutes. It’s a short but sweet breakdown of the production of the feature. “Deck the Halls with Brawls” is a little over 6 minutes. It covers the fights and action from Violent Night. Most of these extras are on the short side but they all get to the point and cover what you would want to know from the production. It also comes with a slipcover, a digital code, and a DVD copy of the release. You need to add this one to your collection ASAP or at least check it out on Peacock. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!