Violent Night – Blu-ray Review

Violent Night

When I saw Violent Night in November, I said the film was “a very viscerally gratifying adventure that finds a seemingly endless array of gory ways for Santa to dispatch his enemies.” Upon multiple viewing, my thoughts on the film have stayed the same. For an unconventional Christmas film, Violent Night takes pleasure in the conventionality of Christmas films. For one thing, the Christmas trope of a man regaining the Christmas spirit in trying times is a thing you’ll find in many classics. 

Yet, instead of Santa inspiring the world, it’s Santa who’s the one disillusioned with the holiday. It’s a modern-day take on the character that’s perfect for someone like David Harbour. The prominent, loveable, charming actor is excellent for this character iteration. I can’t think of anyone who can embody this kind of role.

However, like this version of Santa, Violent Night could be better. The screenwriters could have written the villains better since they had the potential to be as memorable as Harry and Marv from Home Alone. Nevertheless, John Leguizamo still does an impeccable job of playing a villain we root against. Even so, that’s a nitpicky criticism for a film like this. Seeing Santa get his groove back and dispatch the enemies bloody and violently is a blast to watch. That’s where so much of the fun of the movie lies. 

Overall, Violent Night is an unconventional conventional Christmas film that will be the kind of cult classic people watch around the holidays. It’s hilariously violent with the right amount of heart. Is it perfect? No. However, it doesn’t have to be if you have fun with the film. Watching the movie with a raucous audience at Beyond Fest influenced my judgment of the film. Yet, when I watched it again, I still enjoyed it immensely.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Violent Night - David Harbour and John Leguizamo


Violent Night hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. Brightness is intense, and the lights from the interiors and the Christmas lights shine off the picture. The black levels are inky, allowing the shadows in the darker scenes to look distinguishable. Although the film is missing the rich colors of a 4K release with HDR, they still look vibrant, and all look as intended. The crisp and clear picture allows for some good textures and details, such as individual hairs, the copious amount of blood, and the threads of the leather and cloth in Santa’s costume.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

Violent Night - Alexis Louder and David Harbour


Violent Night hits Blu-ray with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. This mix offers an immersive soundstage with plenty of dynamic sounds and some deep bass when a scene calls for it. Also, you can hear the immersive effects like screams, footsteps, and gunshots from all over through seamless transition across the soundstage. Atmospherics, music, and score are equally clear, well-defined, and seamlessly integrated into the mix. The dialogue is always clean, clear, and easy to follow, free of any issues.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Violent Night - Alex Hassell, Edi Patterson, Alexis Louder, Leah Brady, and David Harbour

Special Features

Violent Night’s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on it:

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
    • 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
    • Extended Scenes
  • Quarreling’ Kringle
  • Santa’s Helpers: The Making of Violent Night
  • Deck the Halls with Brawls
  • Feature Commentary with Director Tommy Wirkola, Producer Guy Danella, Writer Pat Casey and Writer Josh Miller
Features Assessment

It’s clear that Wirkola, Danella, Casey, and Miller all had a blast recording the commentary together. As usual, the track, as a whole, is a lively and energetic insight into the production of Violent Night. Out of the everyday behind-the-scenes stories and tidbits, it’s interesting to hear about the minor hints in Santa’s backstory. These things were completely cut out of the film and not even put in the deleted scenes section because they’re saving it for the upcoming sequel.

Unfortunately, the remaining bonus features consist of deleted scenes and several EPK-style featurettes. The deleted scenes are enjoyable, but it’s easy to understand why they were left on the cutting room floor. Quarrelin’ KringleSanta’s Helpers, and Deck the Halls are your basic interview-style featurette. There are a few exciting stuff to be found here, but it’s still your standard affair.

Special Features Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Overall, Violent Night is an enjoyable and unconventional Christmas movie that’ll indeed become a yearly Christmas tradition. Although it’s disappointing to see a lack of an Ultra HD Blu-ray release, the video and audio presentations are rock solid. Unfortunately, the bonus features (except for the audio commentary) could be much better.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Violent Night is now available in stores on Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Universal Home Entertainment.

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