"Season's beatings," quips a blood-drenched, ass-kicking Saint Nick in Violent Night, which pits Santa Claus (David Harbour) against a team of heavily-armed mercenaries. From the producers of such hard-hitting action movies as Atomic Blonde, Nobody, and John Wick, the coal-dark holiday action-comedy (in theaters December 2nd) is as much a homage to the R-rated Die Hard as it is the warm-hearted family classic Home Alone. But unlike the slapstick booby traps set by Macaulay Culkin's mischievous Kevin McAllister, the traps sprung by young believer Trudy (Leah Brady) don't just maim — they Santa "slay."
"We loved that first Home Alone," co-writer Pat Casey told EW. "I still watch it every couple of Christmases, because it's great. But we've long talked about the fact that all of his booby traps are so unbelievably brutal. We thought it would be funny to do a Home Alone sequence but where you really get to see the inherent violence, and it's not quite as Looney Tunes."
Wielding an R rating for "strong bloody violence," Trudy's more realistic, more violent booby traps were "very much from the pitch."
"We always knew we wanted [the film] to revolve around the idea that Santa would have just left these rich a-holes to die until he sees the little girl, and that's his one big weakness in life," added co-writer Josh Miller. "You know, all Die Hard knock-offs need their Al, their Reginald VelJohnson, the person who our hero's communicating with. We knew we would have this little kid, but we didn't want to get trapped [with] a precious little kid just being overly cute. I think all adults [who] grew up on Home Alone think back on it and you're like, the Wet Bandits would have died, many times over."
Miller added: "The crazy thing is that our sequence is only a hair more violent. It's just that the consequences are realistic."
Starring David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Edi Patterson, Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, and Beverly D'Angelo, Violent Night is playing only in theaters December 2nd.