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SYFY WIRE Violent Night

New 'Violent Night' first look promises a bloody action movie 'Miracle on 34th Street'

Santa Claus is comin' to town for a blend of beatings and belief.

By Matthew Jackson
(from left) Jason (Alex Hassell), Gertrude (Beverly D’Angelo), Alva (Edi Patterson), Linda (Alexis Louder), Trudy (Leah Brady) and Santa (David Harbour) in Violent Night, directed by Tommy Wirkola.

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, with Christmas right on its heels. That means Santa Claus is comin' to town, and in the new action comedy Violent Night, he's bringing some serious lumps of coal for the bad guys. 

Universal Pictures dropped a new featurette for the film this week, which takes a closer look at the motivations and circumstances that lead a very jaded version of Santa (David Harbour) to try and rescue a little girl named Trudy (Leah Brady) from a mansion where mercenaries are out to stage a Christmas Eve heist. Through the words of Harbour, his co-stars, and director Tommy Wirkola, we get to learn a little bit more about the setup behind Violent Night's wild holiday mash-up, which begins with the story of a Santa who's grown tired of the Christmas grind. He's been at the whole present delivery thing for thousands of years at this point, and according to Harbour, he's starting to feel trapped in a capitalistic prison of his own making.

"He creates this horrible world where kids just want more and more and more," Harbour said.

But there are still some kids out there with some genuine Christmas spirit, and Trudy just happens to be one of them. So, when her family home is besieged by armed bad guys looking for a Yuletide payday, Trudy uses the "one-way line to Santa" walkie talkie her parents gave her to try and get some help from the Big Man himself. Because Trudy honestly believes in Santa, and happens to be on the nice list, Santa's happy to help her out, even if it means getting his suit a little redder than usual. 

According to Harbour, a big part of the appeal is watching how these two genres of holiday film -- the action movie set at Christmas and the family drama about seasonal magic -- come together in the end. 

"It's like two movies in one. This crazy, Die Hard, trapped in a house, mercenaries, vault underneath, 300 million dollars. And then you have the Miracle on 34th Street movie, and they just sort of like smash together."

We can't wait. Violent Night is in theaters Dec. 2.