The trailer was weird. The idea seemed fun, but even the trailer seemed like it was running out of ideas. Yet, I decided to go and see it. I guess there jsut isn’t much to do in this town, so you take what you can to get out every once in a while.
Spoilers on a movie you shouldn’t care to see.
So, if you haven’t seen it or heard about it, Violent Night is about Santa Claus doing his rounds, when he stumbles upon a house owned by a very rich family, which is being held hostage to steal the money they were hiding within. A pretty fun idea, but not that good of an execution. Clearly someone has seen Die Hard, but not really understood it. There’s also a Home Alone scene, which just doesn’t belong.
However, my main problem with the movie is the clear classism within it. The people, who attack the family kill all their employees and no-one bats an eye, but at the same time we are expected to care about the family, even though they are written as extremely shitty (with obvious exceptions). At the same time, the main bad guy has a backstory, which makes him much more sympathetic, despite having killed a lot of people at that point. Moral ambiguity is often good in movies, but not in your fun action flick.
While everyone else dies, the family is mostly intact at the end of the movie. Only one of them dies and that guy has been called a gold digger a number of times at that point, even though it would seem that he would be independently wealthy through his acting career. Maybe not rich, but you know… has an income independent of the family.
So, the rich people get to live, while everyone else dies. Is that a good message? The Santa Claus is trying to be egalitarian within his own capabilities, but he can’t do much. All the people working at the house are dead and actually just gone at some point (I don’t remember seeing any bodies anywhere), because they don’t matter. I would be fine with this, if it was only part of the family that felt like this, but it would seem that its actually the moviemakers, because they don’t think about this at any point.
On top of that, the sociopathic matriarch of the family gets a bad ass moment. Was that necessary? From the moment we meet her, its quite obvious that she is not a good person. She’s abusive towards everyone and had stolen a shitload of money from the government, which was supposed to be used on briberies in the Middle-East or something along those lines. Yes, she gets to kill one of her former employees in a moment, that is clearly meant to be cool. What the fuck is wrong with these writers? If you want to do this, you need to have that character repent her actions in the past in some way and have a moment of growth. There is something along those lines, but its actually very clumsy, as she just forgives her son for stealing that aforementioned money from her, but even in that case its more about maintaining the abusive nature of the family than anything else, as she is fine with it only because she had to take her position as the matriarch by force from her father. I guess we are supposed to feel for her, because she is a woman and life is harder for women, even though she maintains a kill squad within the company she is running.
The people in Hollywood really need to come out of their bubble. I’m saying this even though the director is from Norway.