David Harbour's Violent Night Trailer Promises Season's Beatings From A Savage Santa

There are very few surprises left in the list of upcoming movies headed our way through the final months of 2022. Of course, leave it to a movie like Violent Night to challenge that very statement, as even knowing that a movie starring David Harbour as an action hero Santa Claus wasn’t enough to prepare us for the reality. With its first trailer now freshly unwrapped, it looks like this is going to be another wild holiday ride.

In the trailer, released by studio Universal Pictures, Violent Night shows us a Santa (David Harbour) that feels a little bit naughty. Having some liquid cheer at a local bar, the man's on his usual rounds, being his usual holly jolly self. Of course, a movie "from the producers of Nobody and Bullet Train" isn't going to restrict itself to vision of sugar plums.

The footage we’ve now seen basically plays along the lines of what we knew about Violent Night. Vicious mercenaries, let by a definitely naughty John Leguizamo, pick the wrong house to raid on Christmas Eve. Sure, a take of $300 million is tempting, even in the season of giving. If only these Die Hard wanna-be thugs knew they opening themselves up a nice, big box of pain. 

It looks like David Harbour’s Santa Claus improv while shooting Black Widow has definitely paid off too! While Violent Night really wants to sell the horrific side of the coin that is this action movie Santa, Harbour also gets the gentler, more traditional side of the man right. That being said, hearing the Stranger Things star say lines like, “Time for some seasons beatings,” has me pretty hyped for the resulting crossroad that is director Tommy Wirkola’s yuletide action-comedy.

The kick ass Santa genre continues to grow, thanks to movies like Mel Gibson’s holiday throwdown Fatman keeping the story alive. And it doesn’t look like there’s an end in sight for this concept, as we’ve also got Dwayne Johnson own action Santa movie Red One to look forward to. It’s going to be interesting to see just how these festive fracas at the movies pan out, because this growing market is reaching the potential for a boom.

Perhaps the greatest asset Violent Night seems to possess is the fact that it doesn’t forget the nicer side of Santa. Keeping the holiday icon’s default settings in mind allows for David Harbour to play to both sides of the room, feeding each image with respect. You can believe this Santa’s going to properly deck the halls with the blood of his enemies, while at the same time admire how he can respect a good Christmas cookie. 

This new version of St. Nick looks quite well-rounded, but we've still got a way to go before we'll truly know. Violent Night stacks its bodies quite high by the chimney with care starting December 2nd, so you’d better be there. Though if you’re lucky enough to get on the Nice list, there is an advanced screening taking place this Friday night, right at New York Comic Con

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.