Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright...
Grace Tadajweski l Editor-In-Chief
Actually, nothing seems to be quite calm in the recently released movie, “Violent Night.” The Dec. 2 movie stars David Harbour as he takes on the role of a very untraditional version of the beloved Saint Nick.
The Universals Pictures movie showcases a holiday season household break-in, not too far from the similar action-based plot of the Christmas classic, “Home Alone.”
However, the movie fosters one key difference that further distinguishes it from other Christmas classics.
“Violent Night” is far less comedic and cheerful than other Christmas movies, for it showcases considerable gore and violence- especially involving Santa Claus.
After entering a house through the chimney, Santa Claus soon realizes that criminals have invaded the home, and he takes action to eliminate them. Although some would argue that Santa Claus’s actions are justifiable in that he is defending the household, his actions go far past maintaining safety.
The Santa Claus character uses bombs and Christmas decorations to harm the robbers, but he does not eliminate them with mere necessity. Rather, he kills them and basks in the glory of it.
The depiction of Santa Claus in such a violent and bloody manner strikes a strange chord with me.
Although “Violent Night” certainly fosters a unique and fresh concept when compared to other Christmas movies, Santa Claus’s portrayal is unnecessary and bothersome. Was it really necessary to create a Santa Claus character who states, ‘Time for some season’s beatings.’
Santa Claus is a jolly and heartwarming legend who helps to create an exciting holiday atmosphere for children around the world. Imagine how the same children who hear stories of Santa Claus checking his list and stuffing stockings would react to a version of Santa Claus who kills people with a sharpened candy cane.
His character in “Violent Night” is simply unneeded. Santa Claus was not made for adults, and there is no good reason to turn a children’s character into an R-rated adult-centered anti-hero.
The Santa Claus character in “Violent Night” is weird. Not every character, holiday, or activity needs a starkly different spinoff that appeals to a new audience, for some things are just better left alone.
That does not go to say that I am opposed to depicting Santa Claus in new diverse, positive, and inclusive environments. However, this Santa Claus character was simply not the type of diversity I was hoping the legendary man would expand to.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a violent night.