Parents' Guide to

Violent Night

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Gore, language in over-the-top but appealing Santa movie.

Movie R 2022 101 minutes
Violent Night Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 23 parent reviews

age 12+

fun action

lots of language but very good and wholesome in the end
age 13+

very fun love it

Lots of language but it is a very fun action filled and even feel good movie great for teenagers and adults probably my favorite movie of the year its very gruesome but in the end you come out feeling happy and in the Christmas spirit

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (23 ):
Kids say (29 ):

Full of blood, gore, and strong language, this is no kids' movie, but Harbour's lovable performance and a gleeful irreverence around the familiar action scenes make this a fun holiday gift. Violent Night takes cues from many other Christmas movies, from Bad Santa, Elf, and Home Alone, to Fatman and even Die Hard itself. But nothing feels copied, and nothing feels like homage. Violent Night somehow gets away with an attitude of "let's have lots of fun, and who cares what gets wrecked in the process!" Norwegian director Tommy Wirkola is known for this kind of movie, including the wild Nazi zombie movie Dead Snow (2009) and the zany Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

In these movies, Wirkola proves that he knows his horror movie history, that he loves horror movies that are aware they're horror movies, and that he's not afraid to climb on top of this rickety stack, reinventing every basic moment every step of the way. It's an approach that might have been exhausting, watching one brutal killing after another as they get bloodier and bloodier, if not for Harbour. He brings exactly the right tone to his Santa Claus and keeps things centered. He's weary and cynical, never too excited, and yet still full of love and hope. We can watch him take out a trained army with nothing more than a sledgehammer and still want to give him a big bear hug when it's done. (Never mind that the white trim on his red coat has turned pink from the blood spatter.)

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