[Blu-Ray Review] ‘Violent Night’; Now Available On Blu-ray, DVD & Digital From Universal

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Director: Tommy Wirkola

Cast: David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Alex Hassell

Release Date: January 24, 2023

A Review By: Kevin Lovell

Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10

Synopsis:

When a team of mercenaries breaks into a wealthy family compound taking everyone inside hostage, they are not prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus. David Harbour (“Stranger Things”) stars as St. Nick in the “wildly entertaining” (SCREEN RANT) holiday romp, delivering some serious season’s beatings to save the family and the spirit of Christmas.

Please Note: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.

[Blu-Ray Review] ‘Violent Night’; Now Available On Blu-ray, DVD & Digital From Universal 1

‘Violent Night’ tells the tale of a bitter wealthy family gathered in their family compound to celebrate the holidays when a team of coordinated mercenaries invade the property and take everyone within hostage. But the one thing that this team of orchestrated mercenaries didn’t count on was that Santa Claus is real and on the property dropping off presents. Initially intent to avoid any involvement, Santa has a change of heart when a kindhearted young girl named Trudy who happens to be on his nice list and is trapped inside with the family pleads for his help. Now, Santa will have to reawaken something within that was buried long ago to take on numerous armed individuals and save Trudy and her family; fortunately the whole team of baddies are on his naughty list.

Directed by Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) from a screenplay written by Pat Casey & Josh Miller (Sonic the Hedgehog), Wirkola does a great job at the helm of ‘Violent Night’ guiding along the violent and amusing fun with style and heart. The film’s cast includes David Harbour (TV’s Stranger Things), John Leguizamo (The Menu), Alex Hassell (TV’s His Dark Materials), Alexis Louder (Copshop) and Beverly D’Angelo (The Good House) along with more, the majority each offering quite capable and fitting performances for the most part in their respective roles.

[Blu-Ray Review] ‘Violent Night’; Now Available On Blu-ray, DVD & Digital From Universal 2

‘Violent Night’ is a delightfully goofy and gory Christmas tale for the ‘John Wick’ era. Never unnecessarily trying to be something complex or groundbreaking, ‘Violent Night’ knows precisely what kind of film it wants to be and embraces it, serving up one ridiculous, blood-soaked sequence after another and never pulling its punches along the way. It’s a fast-paced good time from start to finish that’s packed with more than enough explosive action and gory insanity paired with consistent laughs to make for a thoroughly merry ride for those of you that appreciate the darker side of Holiday offerings and can appreciate some dark humor sprinkled in with their Christmas cheer.

Likely the most surprising aspect of the film is just how much heart and beauty it manages to offer throughout along with the carnage and many of the more gentle interactions and discussions between Santa and young Trudy are truly endearing and make for nice, albeit brief changes of pace from the chaos and action-packed fun. With an equally sweet and fearsome performance by David Harbour as Santa that’s well balanced by John Leguizamo’s great portrayal of the deadly, Holiday despising villain, ‘Violent Night’ is definitely worth taking the time to give a whirl if you enjoy this type of film and haven’t yet had the pleasure.

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Overall, ‘Violent Night’ is a fun, bloody and quite funny Holiday romp that delivers a thoroughly entertaining ride filled with plenty of carnage and excitement and even a surprising amount of heart at times. Poking fun at other Holiday favorites including a bloody twist on Home Alone and more, while complemented by solid performances from the cast, this is one truly enjoyable holiday tale worth giving a chance. ‘Violent Night’ is definitely recommended, especially for anyone that tends to enjoy films of a similar nature loaded with bloody violence, humor and a whole lot of fast-paced, explosive fun. If you’re already at all intrigued by this one it should easily prove well worth the price of a rental and a couple hours of your time, and don’t be terribly surprised if you end up wanting to add it to your collection as well.

[Blu-Ray Review] ‘Violent Night’; Now Available On Blu-ray, DVD & Digital From Universal 3

VIDEO:

The Blu-ray release of ‘Violent Night’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty good as a whole and provides a generally clean, sharp and nicely detailed video presentation from start to finish that aside from some noticeable video noise looks great throughout. It captures everything from the snowy exteriors and expansive interiors, down to character details and more looking clean and crisp, without any notable problems arising along the way. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation that should satisfy fans and first time viewers alike.

AUDIO:

The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a clean, crisp and fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout that does a nice job of complementing the onscreen fun and chaos. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to send some gunshots and other action effects, along with music, nature content and more throughout the various speakers at every fitting opportunity, while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fun and fully capable 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that does its job well and should not disappoint.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release of ‘Violent Night’ features some entertaining extras that fans of the film should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Tommy Wirkola, Producer Guy Danella, Writer Pat Casey and Writer Josh Miller’, in addition to a nice helping of ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 19 minutes in length altogether) and a few Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of bringing the film to life, featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are ‘Santa’s Helpers: The Making of Violent Night’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length), ‘Quarrelin’ Kringle’ (running approximately 4 minutes), and ‘Deck the Halls with Brawls’ (approximately 6 minutes).

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[Blu-Ray Review] ‘Violent Night’; Now Available On Blu-ray, DVD & Digital From Universal 5

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*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.

Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10

‘Violent Night’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment


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