Violent Night: Christmas 2022 movie release date, trailer, age rating UK, cast, why is it likened to Die Hard?

Violent Night has been compared to the iconic 1980s movie Die Hard which starred Bruce Willis

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Violent Night is bringing action and adventure to your screens this holiday season.

From director Tommy Wirkola (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters), Universal Picture’s Violent Night stars David Harbour from Stranger Things as Santa Claus, who unwittingly gets caught up in a hostage robbery plot whilst out on his rounds on Christmas Eve.

There’s only one thing Santa can do and that’s save those on his nice list and teach those on the naughty list a lethal lesson.

The action-adventure movie has been likened to cult classic Die Hard which starred Bruce Willis, with director Wirkola revealing that the film “was a big influence.”

So will it live up to the hype and when will you be able to watch Violent Night in the UK? Here’s everything you need to know.

What is the release date for Violent Night?

Violent Night will be released in UK cinemas on Friday 2 December.

David Harbour speaks onstage at the Violent Night: Exclusive Screening Event during New York Comic Con (Pic: Getty Images for ReedPop)David Harbour speaks onstage at the Violent Night: Exclusive Screening Event during New York Comic Con (Pic: Getty Images for ReedPop)
David Harbour speaks onstage at the Violent Night: Exclusive Screening Event during New York Comic Con (Pic: Getty Images for ReedPop)

What is the plot?

Violent Night tells the story of how Santa Claus, played by Harbour, gets caught up in a hostage, robbery plot on Christmas Eve and has to take matters into his own hands, saving those on the nice list and handing out some harsh punishments to those who got stuck on the naughty.

The plot synopsis from Universal reads: “When a team of mercenaries breaks into a wealthy family compound on Christmas Eve, taking everyone inside hostage, the team isn’t prepared for a surprise combatant: Santa Claus is on the grounds, and he’s about to show why this Nick is no saint.”

Is there a trailer?

The trailer for Violent Night launched on 5 October, with Universal sharing it on social media. The gory trailer includes a brief overview of the plot, including graphic images of Harbour taking on the intruders as Saint Nick, fashioning all kinds of things as weapons, including candy canes.

You can watch the trailer for Violent Night below:

What is the age rating?

Violent Night has been given a 15 age rating in the UK due to scenes of strong bloody violence, gore, language and sex references. In the US, it has an R rating, which stands for restricted viewing. This meaning anyone under the age of 17-years-old requires a parent or adult guardian to be present.

Who stars in Violent Night?

Harbour, from Stranger Things has big boots to fill as Santa Claus, whilst John Leguizamo (When They See Us, John Wick) will take on the role of hijack vilian Ben. Other cast members include: Cam Gigandet (Without Remorse), Alex Hassell (Cowboy Bebop), Alexis Louder (The Tomorrow War), Edi Patterson (The Righteous Gemstones) and Beverly D’Angelo (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).

Why has it been compared to Die Hard?

The Christmas film has been compared to the iconic 1980s movie Die Hard, which stars Bruce Willis as John McClane as he tries to save his wife after terrorists take her hostage during her work Christmas party. The two films share a similar synopsis, however this time, the hero isn’t an off-duty police detective, it’s Santa Claus himself.

Whilst introducing a clip of the upcoming film during the Universal Pictures panel at CinemaCon in April 2022, Harbour introduced the film, comparing it to Die Hard. He said: “Escape is great. I’m a big fan. But what about movies that make you sweat?”

Harbour added: “Don’t you love action movies? Who doesn’t love a great action movie, right? How about Christmas movies? So, what about a movie that’s a great action movie, and the greatest Christmas movie in one? Die Hard. F***ing Die Hard.”

Whilst speaking in an interview with IGN, director Wirkola acknowledges the influence, explaining: “Obviously, Die Hard was a big influence,” adding: “and for me, McTiernan, just as a director, is one of my favourite directors, and we try to pay tribute and honor that movie as much as we can. And then try to make our own thing and based on that. Our own crazy story.”