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Surprise! ‘Violent Night’ gets digital release - just in time for your (totally peaceful) Christmas

Now you can bring David Harbour’s hard-living Santa right into your living room…or else.

By Benjamin Bullard
Violent Night (2022)

Why crush this year’s family holiday vibe with a real-life Christmas feud when you can simply dial up Santa on-demand and let the drama play out on TV instead? Just in time to bring everyone together around a small-screen treat we all can agree on, Violent Night is jump-starting the jolly old elf’s usual Christmas-Eve sky sightings with an early appearance on digital streaming platforms.

Yep, David Harbour (as the dark comedy’s half-drunk Santa anti-hero) is dropping in ahead of his big Christmas delivery date for a little crime-fighting St. Nick smack-’n’-pow, all now available from the comforts of your very own home. That means Universal Pictures’ hilariously heavy-hitting take on the lengths Santa will absolutely go to enforce the spirit of the season can now be seen in both theaters and on demand…whichever strikes your fancy right upside the head.

Sure, it’s rife with killer jabs, stabs, and mean right-hooks that tap the same combative good-guy vibe that for years has made Die Hard a sleeper Christmas favorite. But Violent Night’s pugilistic pleasure isn’t just in subverting the wholesome idea that Santa won’t get naughty if he needs to: There’s a heart underlying all the uppercuts and bruises, as Harbour’s grizzled, world-weary Father Christmas summons the will to save the season for a family under siege from a gang of meanies led by the pitiless “Mr. Scrooge” (John Leguizamo).

RELATED: 'Violent Night' writers have ideas for butt-kicking Santa sequels

Reviewers saw past Santa’s penchant for chest tattoos and hitting the sauce to find a fresh, genre-bending holiday trend that Violent Night might just be responsible for starting. “Depending on how it performs,” noted Variety, the movie “could open the door to a new kind of down-and-dirty Christmas/action hybrid.” Hey, we’re here for that — especially since Santa at full charge probably makes more sense as a bone-crunching Christmas mascot than John McClane.

Produced by John Wick and Deadpool veteran David Leitch alongside Kelly McCormick and Guy Danella, Violent Night was penned by Sonic the Hedgehog writing duo Pat Casey and Josh Miller, and directed by Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters). 

Now you can take your Santa slay-fest whichever way you choose: Sock it to the bad guys in theaters or cozy at home over a bowl of Christmas (ahem) …punch. Violent Night is now available to either rent or own via just about every digital on-demand platform out there, including Prime Video, Apple TV+, Vudu, Xfinity, the Microsoft store and more.

Looking for some less violent Christmas content? Dozens of holiday Hallmark movies and Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical! are available to stream right now on Peacock.

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