David Harbour’s Santa Is Definitely On The Naughty List

Santa Claus is often portrayed as a beacon of hope, goodwill, selfless giving, and Christmas joy, but David Harbour’s Santa in Violent Night is a little different: he is snarky, badass, and ruthlessly dangerous to the kids on his naughty list. As revealed in its trailer, Violent Night has some fantastical elements in its storyline that mostly serve as narrative devices to drive Santa’s merciless showdowns against the bad guys. However, even with all of its make-believe absurdity, Violent Night does not seem to be a far cry from Die Hard, which uses Christmas as a backdrop for relentless high-octane action.

Violent Night‘s action ensues in a wealthy family’s compound when a group of mercenaries breaks in and takes everyone hostage. Little do the outlaws realize but big old Santa Claus is also on the premises, and he is determined to serve justice to the naughty along with gifts to the nice. For a movie with the tagline “To hell with ‘all is calm,Violent Night certainly does not disappoint with its plot and casting choices. David Harbour is a perfect choice for playing a badass John Wick-esque Santa while actors John Leguizamo (now best known as the voice of Bruno in Encanto), Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, and Beverly D’Angelo (of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) are also promising additions to the movie’s roster and suggest that Violent Night is going to be a fun ride.

What makes Violent Night a potentially epic Christmas movie is David Harbour’s intriguing portrayal of a blatantly hypocritical Santa Claus. This version of St. Nick takes it upon himself to save a family’s Christmas Eve by helping them duke it out with intruders but shows no qualms about killing the bad guys in cold blood. Harbour’s Santa still does his job incredibly well by serving metaphorical and literal lumps of coal to the naughty listers, but his barbaric methods of doing so clearly show that he is no less naughty himself.

Every Christmas-Themed Kill Teased In Violent Night’s Trailer

By aptly labeling his vigilante Christmas adventures as “seasons beatings,” Violent Night‘s Santa (played by Stranger Things‘ David Harbour) uses myriad Christmas-themed modi operandi to overpower the naughty. He knocks the living Christmas lights out of one by eye-stabbing him with a Christmas star and then electrocuting him. In another slam-bang action scene, Santa brings a candy cane to a knife fight but effectively uses its sharp edges to gain the upper hand. While a sock may not be an ideal weapon of choice, Harbour’s Santa fills it up with pool balls and goes for a chain mace-style kill.

From snowballs to glossy garland ribbons, Violent Night‘s savage Santa uses it all to slay the villains on the ultimate naughty list. To top it all off with one final blow, he refers to a grenade as a lump of coal, packs it in a bad guy’s pocket, and then gleefully watches it explode from a distance. Clearly, Harbour’s character in Violent Night is not a typical Santa (a la Tim Allen in the Santa Clause movies), the sort of noble saint who toils away in his North Pole workshop. He is an outraged warrior who is on a warpath against the naughty, and that is exactly what makes him so fascinating.

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