I have a new favorite Christmas movie and it is called Violent Night! I’ve already provided an in-depth critique of this action-packed effort for Dread Central (which you can check out here). So, this time around, I will be focusing more on the bonus content.
But before I weigh in on the extras, allow me to hit you with a plot crunch: Violet Night follows the Lightstone family as they begrudgingly come together for some holiday cheer and incessant bickering. Their plans are eventually disrupted when a team of outlaws intent on burgling the wealthy family’s palatial estate arrive on the scene. But what no one counted on is a visit from a muscle-bound, beer-swilling, Viking Santa Claus (David Harbour) with a unique set of skills.
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The film’s home video release comes with a variety of featurettes. ‘Quarrelin’ Kringle’ sees director Tommy Wirkola speaking to the casting of lead character David Harbour and precisely what made the Stranger Things actor the right fit for the role of Saint Nick. We also get to see Harbour weigh in on tackling the role, what drew him to the part, and more. Additionally, there is some great insight on how the creative team worked with the star to walk the line between a conventional portrayal of Santa Claus and an ass-kicking Viking.
‘Santa’s Helpers: The Making of Violent Night’ pulls back the curtain and gives viewers an inside look at the production process. Wirkola speaks to what made him want to direct the project, as well as collaborating with the on and offscreen talent. Further, we get some input on John Leguizamo’s villainous turn as Scrooge, the film’s fight choreography, and more.
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‘Deck the Halls With Brawls’ gives commentary on the film’s epic action sequences, of which there are a great plenty. The creative team talks about figuring out inventive ways to swap out the film’s stars for stunt doubles, in a single take, with no cuts. That’s an impressive feat and likely why the choreography looks so seamless. This featurette is the longest of the bunch. But at less than 10-minutes, I wish the min-docs had been a little longer. It’s great fun to go behind-the-scenes with the enthusiastic cast and crew.
Also included are a variety of deleted scenes. You likely won’t find anything mind-blowing that was left on the cutting room floor. But it’s nonetheless fun to get a look at the excised footage.
For anyone revisiting the film, there is a commentary track with director Tommy Wirkola (and company) that you’ll want to be sure to check out. It’s great to hear the helmer speak to his time making the movie. His passion for the project is palpable and that shows in the finished product.
The flick is now available on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. If you haven’t had the occasion to check it out, I cannot recommend Violent Night wholeheartedly enough.
Wicked Rating: 8/10