Tommy Wirkola made Dead Snow and The Trip and somehow, he’s made a Christmas movie — written by Patrick Casey and Josh Miller — that features David Harbour as an exhausted Santa Claus trapped in a home invasion led by John Leguizamo. Just from the trailer, in which Santa destroys a room full of soldiers, you could tell that this would be fun.
It might be a little long, but it’s also inventive, with Harbour totally owning this movie from start to finish. His Santa was once a Viking warrior named Nikamund the Red that found himself part of Christmas magic that he admits that he really doesn’t understand. As the soldiers take over the home of the rich Lightstone family — Beverly D’Angelo is great in this as the matriarch of this spoiled brood — only seven year old Trudy (Leah Brady) is able to reach Santa’s heart and remind him of the magic of the holiday.
That said, this is filled with way over the top violence — a nail in the chin effect actually made me recoil which is a definite achievement — as well as a Home Alone moment where the damage that Trudy delivers to the henchmen is way more horrifying than what Kevin McCallister did to the Wet Bandits.
It ends up pretty heartwarming which is way more than I expected. Who knew the best holiday movie of this year would be the bloodiest?