Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s drunk, hot and ready to go to war.
If you’re looking for a warm and furry holiday movie, look elsewhere. Fierce Night It’s what we deserve as we argue every year about whether Die Hard a christmas movie. This crappy but festive movie is basically Die Hard But as Santa, John McClane, a world-weary justice enforcer, battles a gang of ruthless thieves at a brutally derailed yuletide party.
But how does this turn out? All right, let’s break it up.
dir-dir Fierce Night Santa Claus Slasher?
Credit: Allen Fraser / Universal Pictures
For those fascinated by the phrase, Santa Slasher is a subgenre of horror in which Santa (or someone dressed as him) offers deadly mayhem. We’re talking about movies like Santa’s Slay, Silent Night Deadly Night, Rare Export: A Christmas Tale, and – best of the bunch – Deadly Games, basically Home alonebut a mall turned into a serial killer with Santa Claus.
Fierce Night follows in their footsteps, centering on a Santa Claus (Stranger Things’ David Harbor) killing people. But instead of rosy-cheeked kids, feuding families, or troubled parents, this Santa is totally dedicated to giving home thieves what they deserve. And this is not a piece of coal. A Christmas ornament inserted from the eye into the brain. After all, killing with festive weapons like a candy cane, sharpened to a point, is part of Santa Slasher’s bag.
Inside Violent Night, At the annual reunion of the Lightstone family, a group of sullen catering companies secretly carry guns and seasonal codenames like Peppermint, Jingle, Krampus, and Scrooge (John Leguizamo as the movie’s answer to Hans Gruber). They plan to rob hundreds of millions of dollars in the family’s safe. But it’s hard to feel too attached to these risks, as this clan has a relentless grunt of Grinches.
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The Lightstone family consists of finely drawn caricatures of American prosperity and excess: the foul-mouthed and authoritarian matriarch (National Lampoon’s Christmas Holiday Beverly D’Angelo), ass licking money throwing (Correct GemsEdi Patterson), obnoxious young influencer (Alexander Elliot), guilty golden boy (men‘ Alex Hassell) and a hilariously smug up-and-coming movie star (twilight Cam Gigandet makes a cruel Mark Wahlberg reference).
With these poster boys for greed as a victim, you might be tempted to root for robbers. But among them is a sweet boy (Leah Brady) who believes in Santa Claus and the restorative power of Christmas. When grumpy Kris Kringle is hooked up to Santa via a walkie-talkie, she is determined to give him the gift of survival. And maybe his shitty family can share that – charity season or something.
dir-dir Fierce Night A family-friendly Christmas movie?
Credit: Allen Fraser / Universal Pictures
While it has a heart of gold beneath a lot of spilled blood, this is a Christmas comedy in the vein of the rough classic. scrooged but with a generous mix of action and violence. So: This R-rated movie is definitely not for kids. It begins with Santa Claus in a bar, drunk and belligerent, with a stomachache about the state of the world. While this is relatable—or hilarious—for adults, Santa’s frustration can shake the teens. And if that wasn’t my clumsy attempt at booting and rallying!
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Beyond that, the warrior in the red suit has the power to kill, as Santa is fighting bad guys who not only threaten the Christmas cheer, but a cute boy as well. Screenwriters Pat Casey and Josh Miller enumerate a host of uncensored violence, including deadly gunshots, stakes, beheadings, warhammer blows and explosions. Plus, crucial words are often surrounded by pompous profanity, such as when the not-so-polite grandmother says, “Don’t be silly and don’t tell me this is chocolate cake.”
Basically, if your standard Christmas season viewing favors movies like A Christmas Story, or the Rankin’/Bass collection, Fierce Night it will bounce your hair back and turn it white for good measure. But what if you nestled happily in the bloody lap of Santa Slashers? What if you’re a fan of Tommy Wirkola’s other horror comedies?
How Fierce Night rated as a Tommy Wikola movie?
Credit: Allen Fraser / Universal Pictures
The Norwegian writer/director left his mark on 2009. Dead Snowis a really ugly zombie movie about college friends who perish when ski vacation Nazi soldiers rise from the dead. Four years later, Wirkola brought the grisly comedy mayhem into a fairy tale setting. Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, The movie stars Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton in an unforgettable role as armed avengers determined to overcome their childhood traumas by wiping sinister wizards off the map.
Where Dead Snow it was rough and wild, Hansel and Gretel It had American studio chic, but it was still a satisfyingly sick romp, filled with absurd violence and unapologetically silly jokes. I called when it came out “honey badger of movies” (pulling a meme of time) and although this joke is outdated, the sentiment remains true. But nothing prepared me for the absolutely spectacular frenzy of 2014. Dead Snow 2: Against Red. Dead. A direct sequel to his bloody escapade, it’s so shockingly violent and twisted that I screamed from start to finish with uncontrollable dreadful pleasure. And frankly, you’re going to have a hard time finding a more bizarre yet pitch-perfect ending in any genre.
So I was enthusiastic as all the dizzying irregularities of these Wirkola works danced in my head like images of sugar plums. Fierce Night. And I can confidently say… that’s okay. For a star-studded American movie where Santa Claus kills people, the indulgence in festive murder scenes with a wink befitting mischievous Saint Nick is pretty shocking. But it feels tame for a Wikola movie. It’s given us worse villains, more dazzling kills, and more charismatically chaotic heroes than before.
While it’s cleverly adorned with Christmas-y guns, the fight choreography is somewhat mundane, unadorned with flashy pans and uninspired cinematography. However, a Home aloneThe -inspired sequence stands out. There, Wirkola gleefully anticipates what his pursued foes are about to encounter as he chases the brave boy hero, and the payoff is as exciting as seeing a big, shiny gift box with your name on it.
But if you’ve watched other movies like this one or other Wikola movies, nothing Fierce Night feels provocatively disrespectful. This Santa can slay without remorse, but he’s also politely advising a kid that “asshole” is close to a curse word for Nice Listers. Still, credit when it’s due, Harbor sells well on this line.
David Harbor slain as Santa Claus Night of Violence.
Credit: Universal Pictures
Embellished in fur-embroidered red leather and with a man’s bun signaling the end of playtime, Harbor brings the beer-bellied power that has become its niche. stranger thingsReceptaclewith Black Widow’Red Guard with hell boys hell boy. This is her grumpy but cute personality. Fierce Night works even when the script gets lazy in characterizations and there isn’t a bad glow in the fight scenes.
Plus, Harbor looks as good as Santa. And Wirkola knows this, gifting us photos of this Santa topless and leaning towards close-ups, lingering so close that you can smell stale beer and sugar cookies on his breath. I agree with both, Santa Slashers don’t often boast that much sex appeal.
Finally, Fierce Night It’s a mixed bag. The Santa Slasher meets the blood and seasonal carnage demanded by the genre, and some of its moments—like Santa jumping out of the chimney—have a higher production value that sings. It’s rated R-rated for being mean, vulgar, spooky, and graphic, which can satisfy your hunger for something wild to balance the sugary sweetness of serious yuletide romantic comedy attack. But it can be considered the best entry point for a Wirkola study. You have to be this wild to continue this journey.
Maybe for the litmus test Fierce Night this: Does the idea of Santa peeing from the side of his sleigh while reindeer soar high over Washington DC disgust, tickle, or shrug you off? If you’re disgusted, shop elsewhere for holiday fun. If you’re shrug, manage your expectations before queuing up to see this Santa. If you’re ticklish, you better watch out Dead Snow 2.
Fierce Night It’s coming to theaters everywhere on December 2.