The 10 Most Hilarious Moments In Violent Night
By this point, it's clear that "Violent Night" is bound to become a Christmas classic. The action-comedy, directed by Tommy Wirkola, fuses the perverse humor of "Bad Santa" with the gory bits from "Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2" and the charm and wonder of films like "The Santa Clause." It's the perfect recipe for a holiday treat. With a script written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, "Violent Night" tells the story of the super-rich Lightstone Family, whose Christmas Eve gathering is crashed by a group of mercenaries. Santa Claus (David Harbour) unwittingly becomes entangled in the murderous takeover — if he wants to keep Christmas alive, he must survive the night.
As you might expect, "Violent Night" earns its hard-R rating for graphic violence and language. However, beneath all the blood there beats a delightfully humorous heart. Harbour delivers the physical gags to great effect, and the entire cast — which includes John Leguizamo, Edit Patterson, and Beverly D'Angelo — offers up a steady string of zingers that'll make viewers chortle into their hot chocolate. Here are the film's 10 most hilarious moments, so cozy up to the fireplace and be prepared to laugh.
Go Home, Santa, You're Drunk
Santa loves to drink — and I'm not talking about milk. In the opening scene, Santa cozies up with his umpteenth ice-cold beer. His eyes glisten not with holiday cheer, but rather the boozy elixir warming his tummy. After centuries of wearing the red suit, Santa has turned into a bit of a curmudgeon, and alcohol is the only thing getting him through the Christmas season.
At one point, Santa goes on a drunken tirade about how his favorite holiday has devolved into an occasion that's materialistic and promotes selfishness. He chugs another beer, then calls out children on how they "crave [and] consume" rather than enjoying the blessings around them. A fake Santa sits a few barstools away, and the two bond over how exhausting this time of year can be. Santa then downs his drink, climbs onto the roof, and hops in his sleigh. Like anyone with a job, he's gotta do what he's gotta do.
A Boozy Montage
Harbour's Santa Claus is neither cheery nor jolly. He's been worn down from centuries of wearing the red Santa suit and keeping track of all the naughty and nice children. Still, while he likes to imbibe a little too much, that doesn't keep him from doing his job. Plus, he still loves his homemade cookies and whole milk 一 whatever you do, don't go healthy and leave out the skim variety. He's not a fan.
After downing a few frothy beers in a pub, Santa climbs to the roof and darts into the sky to deliver presents. The montage that ensues is comedy gold. Not only does Santa shotgun a can of beer as the reindeer fly to the next house, but he's soon seen peeing off the top of a building, urine splashing on the street below. Later, he finds a Christmas tree surrounded by nothing but Amazon boxes; he scoffs and nonchalantly throws away a perfectly-wrapped present. If they don't care, why should he?
Harbour sells every single moment perfectly, which isn't too surprising given his body of work. Aside from playing Hopper on "Stranger Things," he's had noteworthy runs in "Rake" and "The Newsroom," and donned a devilish costume for 2019's "Hellboy." As a result, Harbour knows exactly how long he should play each moment. The entirety of "Violent Night" shocks you with violent scene after violent scene, so these quick vignettes that break up the action are welcome reprieves.
Meet The Family
The Lightstone family is the textbook definition of dysfunctional. There's boozy aunt Alva (Edi Patterson), her obnoxious influencer son, Bert (Alexander Elliot), the wannabe action star and Alva's second husband, Morgan Steele (Cam Gigandet), and Jason, the son looking to break away from the family. Then there's Gertrude Lightstone, the unrelenting matriarch who rules them all. Upon first glance, it's your typical filthy rich family. Thankfully for the viewer, when they get together, their dynamic is perfection.
The first scene in which we meet the group is hilarious. If Alva isn't slinging back yet another cocktail, Bert is livestreaming for his fans. Morgan quickly shows that he has a way of making every conversation about him, and Gertrude proves to be spectacularly vulgar. Among them, Jason, Trudy, and Linda are outliers, no longer willing to kiss the ground that Gertrude walks on. If it wasn't for her millions, they wouldn't even be here.
Throughout the film, the group scenes continually end up delivering the most memorable moments, aside from any time that David Harbour is on screen. Even after being held hostage by a group of mercenaries, the family lays the humor on thick. Their gift exchange is ridiculous, as is a joke about a nutcracker (you can probably guess where that one goes). All in all, it's the kind of family that requires eggnog to survive — and lots of it.
Christmas Code Names
At first, Christmas Eve seems to be going along as nicely as it could be, given how dysfunctional the Lightstones are. Suddenly, however, several servants and caterers reveal themselves as mercenaries and take the family hostage.
That's not the hilarious part. What makes this funny is that the mercenaries, decked out in full combat attire, go by holiday-themed code names. In addition to Scrooge, we have Tinsel (Phong Giang), Gingerbread (André Eriksen), Frosty (Can Aydin), Sugarplum (Stephanie Sy), Krampus (Brendan Fletcher), Candy Cane (Suri), and Jingle (Finn McCager Higgins).
The gag here comes from trying to figure out exactly why the kill squad has such jolly code names to start with, especially since Scrooge loathes the holiday season. The mercenaries' cold demeanors perfectly contrast with their goofy names. It's a wonderfully cheesy joke.
How Do You Solve A Problem Like A Reindeer?
Santa has a complicated relationship with his reindeer, as a few of the film's funniest moments prove. They're mischievous, always causing problems in the least opportune times. Early in "Violent Night," soon after that ridiculous montage, Santa lands at his latest destination. As he trudges toward the chimney, one of the reindeer takes a big dump on the rooftop, much to Santa's disdain. "Which one of you did that? Prancer? So unprofessional," he says, slurring his words.
Later, the kill squad hunts Santa into one of the comfy lounges. As Santa's trying to whoosh up the chimney with his magic dust, his reindeer get spooked and dash away into the night. Santa is left without his magic, and without a way to escape. Reindeer; you can't live with 'em, and you can't live without 'em.
"How can I stay mad at you?" Santa says just after he kills Scrooge, when both the Lightstone family and reindeer reappear. See, the animals had a reason for leaving Santa behind. After fiercely rebuking the reindeer, Mr. Claus realizes there is a backup gift sack inside his sleigh. They were thinking about him all along! Accordingly, Santa quickly does an about-face and cozies up to the reindeer. It's an adorably sweet moment.
Trudy (Leah Brady) just watched "Home Alone," and she's in love. When we first meet her, she's on the way to her grandmother Gertrude Lightstone's (Beverly D'Angelo) house, and she's bubbling with holiday cheer. Her father, Jason Lightstone (Alex Hassell), and her mother, Linda (Alexis Louder), are divorced, but agree to set aside their petty grudges for their daughter. Trudy even imitates Kevin McAllister's signature scream, so you know she takes the movie very seriously.
Her love for the 1990 film just happens to come in handy in a pivotal moment. When intruders storm the Lightstone's holiday party, they take everyone hostage and set their sights on an extremely drunk Santa. During the following chase, the armed group crosses paths with Trudy, who's been busy setting up various "Home Alone"-style traps in the attic. Nails line the ladder steps, for example, and super glue cakes the floor.
It turns out that Trudy is an absolute genius; her work is particularly dangerous to an intruder who uses the code name Candy Cane (Mitra Suri). While we've become desensitized to the traps in "Home Alone" thanks to years of exposure, "Violent Night" makes them all treats again. It's like that Leonardo DiCaprio pointing meme 一 see if you can count all the references!
"Violent Night" more than lives up to its title. The violence in the film is so outrageous and over-the-top that you won't be able to stop yourself from laughing. One sequence in particular is especially sidesplitting. In a confrontation with one of the mercenaries, Santa uses everything in his sight as a weapon. He fills a sock with pool balls and slams it into the attacker's head. He body slams the man into a pinball machine and a decked-out Christmas tree.
Santa also tries to pull out gifts out of his magical sack to use as weapons, but he mostly finds video games, which don't quite make good armaments. The hand-to-hand combat comes to a head when Santa punctures a mercenary's eye with a star-shaped tree-topper. He quickly plugs the decoration in, and it electrocutes the man to death. Not only is the humor in this moment on point, but the gore and practical effects will make you both wince and guffaw.
Don't Say That
There's a running joke in "Violent Night" about anuses. Let me explain. After the Lightstones are taken hostage, Trudy turns on her walkie talkie to communicate with Santa. See, Jason forgot to take Trudy to see Santa at the mall, so he wrapped up an old walkie talkie and told her that she could use it to share her Christmas list with Santa, even though he may not respond. Well, Santa stumbles across her frequency after swiping a dead mercenary's radio. Trudy clues him into what's going on, and Santa promises to save her and her family. He also says he'll deliver lumps of coal for the bad guys, to which Trudy says, "...and shove it up their a**." Santa scolds her about using an expletive, although he agrees that she can say "anus."
The joke comes back after the stakes have ratcheted up. Sometime later, Santa and Trudy hop back on the walkie talkies. Santa shares the story of his previous life as a warrior, and tells Trudy about a giant hammer he called Skullcrusher. Again, Trudy says that Santa needs to teach the crooks a lesson, and shove whatever coal he has up their ... well, you know. In the third act, Santa stays true to his word, shoving a grenade down a mercenary's pants. It's childish humor, but it works in these quick moments, serving as a welcome reprieve from all the physical gags.
Suck On This
If you like your holiday horror more naughty than nice, "Violent Night" should be right up your alley. It's like 2006's "Black Christmas" in that way, although it swipes out the earlier film's nihilistic atmosphere for something far more fun. In one of the best sequences in "Violent Night," Santa comes head-to-head with a group of mercenaries. They have him outnumbered, but it doesn't matter. With a sledgehammer he found in a nearby shed, Santa knocks the kill squad over like bowling pins, bashing in their heads and spraying their guts all over the floor.
While in hiding, Santa takes a break to suck on a candy cane, but there's a nefarious purpose to his actions: He's shaping the candy cane into a peppermint shiv. "Suck on this!" he yells before gouging the sharp edge into someone's neck. As before, the violence in this rampage is so absurd that it's guaranteed to tickle you in all the right spots. Even more, the sequence never gives you a moment to breathe. It's just crushed skull after crushed skull.
Christmas Dies Tonight
When Scrooge (John Leguizamo), the kill squad's head honcho, yells "Christmas dies tonight!" I couldn't help but think back to the common refrain from "Halloween Kills." It's unlikely that it's a direct reference, but it is funny.
In the finale, Scrooge confronts Santa near a cabin in the woods. He discovers Santa's magical naughty and nice list, and finally accepts that Santa is real. However, because of his tragic past, he can only see red. Scrooge is hellbent on killing Santa, and Christmas along with him, once and for all.
The two fight, and Scrooge nearly gets the upper hand. But when Scrooge claims that tonight will be the very last Christmas, Santa replies, "Not if you still believe." Santa then touches his finger to his nose, and both men fly up the chimney. Because his body didn't turn into dust, Scrooge is ripped to shreds, and his body parts fall in different places around the woods. His mangled torso lands with a "thwap!" on the cold, hard ground. It punctuates the scene with good, dark humor, and is guaranteed to elicit laughs from the crowd.
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