Welcome to our Colossus Movie Guide for Violent Night. This guide contains our detailed library of content covering key aspects of the movie’s plot, ending, meaning, and more. We encourage your comments to help us create the best possible guide. Thank you!
What is Violent Night about?
Violent Night is about belief. And in some ways challenges the way in which adults write certain things off as impossible. Whether that’s the existence of Santa Claus or the practicality of Home Alone style booby traps. It can even extend into self-belief and the ability to overcome odds or make a necessary change in your life. There’s also a theme of history. Santa Claus has to tap into a previous life. Jason and Linda have to tap into their previous love. Gertrude forgives Jason because she had to do something similar to her father. While it’s not a movie that’s all that deep, there are some interesting thoughts in there that make Violent Night a bit more thoughtful rather than purely indulgent.
Movie Guide table of contents
- Santa Claus – David Harbour
- Trudy Lightstone – Leah Brady
- Jason Lightstone – Alex Hassell
- Linda Matthews – Alexis Louder
- Mr. Scrooge – John Leguizamo
- Alva Lightstone – Edi Patterson
- Morgan Steel – Cam Gigadent
- Bertrude Lightstone – Alexander Elliot
- Gertrude Lightstone – Beverly D’Angelo
- Commander Thorp – Mike Dopud
- Candy Cane – Mitra Suri
- Tinsel – Phong Giang
- Frosty – Can Aydin
- Sugarplum – Stephanie Sy
- Krampus – Brendan Fletcher
- Gingerbread – André Eriksen
- Written by – Pat Casey | Josh Miller
- Directed by – Tommy Wirkola
The ending of Violent Night explained
The end of Violent Night begins with a Mortal Kombat style fight between Santa and Scrooge. Scrooge is surprisingly good at hand to hand combat. But Santa uses his chimney powers to fatality Scrooge in spectacular fashion. But Thorp appears and shots Santa a number of times. Gertrude approaches a distracted Thorp and uses the opportunity to shoot Thorp. Santa plummets from the top of the old chimney.
Trudy, Jason, and Linda arrive. As Santa says goodbye to Trudy, the others try to save him. They all declare their belief in Santa and that activates some special Christmas magic that cures Santa of his wounds. A resurrected Santa thanks everyone, gets in his sleigh, finds a note from Mrs. Claus, then flies off to deliver the rest of the Christmas gifts.
Since “reminding adults they should believe in things” is the big theme of Violent Night, it makes sense why they’d set up a situation where the adults have to re-declare they believe in Santa. It’s a bit silly, a bit cheesy, but it gets the point across. Being cynical can lead to disaster. You can become like Scrooge. Or like Thorp. Or even be in a position like Jason and Linda. Jason has felt trapped by his mom and the Lightstone company. Which has led to him putting his job ahead of his family. Which has led to Linda losing faith in their relationship. Even Jason doubts. But the evening’s events have led them to believe again. In themselves. In one another. In their future.
Likewise, Santa was in a similar spot. He had grown cynical about his job and Christmas. He and Mrs. Claus weren’t in a good place either. But through Trudy’s belief, Santa rediscovers himself and his joy of Christmas. When he finds the note Mrs. Claus sent back with the reindeer, Santa’s happy. It seems that he’s about to begin a new chapter in his life.
What’s not clarified is what will happen to the $300 millions Jason attempted to steal from his mother. Some of it they burned to try and keep Santa warm. But a bulk of it remains. Does Gertrude let Jason keep it? She already expressed her respect for his action and explained that she had made a similar cutthroat move to take the company from her father. I believe the quote is something like, “A Lightstone takes what’s theirs.” So maybe Gertrude will say, “Go on. Take it.” I could also see her saying Jason lost possession of it so she’s reclaiming the money and expects to see him at work on Monday.
But, that’s me being cynical. If we’re to lean into the theme of belief and positivity, then let’s assume Gertrude lets Jason have the money, lets him leave the company, and gives Alva (Jason’s sister) the promotion she so craves.
The themes and meaning of Violent Night
A movie like The Santa Claus is for kids so the themes are designed to appeal to the mind of a kid. While a movie like Violent Night is for adults. And Violent Night leans into that, exploring the idea of how adults become jaded and lose hope. And how belief is something that can be a difference maker.
For example, Santa Claus opens the movie in a bar. He talks about it potentially being the last Christmas ever. He’s clearly burnt out and frustrated with others and himself. But Trudy’s innocent belief in him is redemptive. Her faith that Santa will help her leads to Santa living up to the image. He remembers his warrior background and why being Santa appealed to him. You can argue that the main reason he started so jaded is because he stopped believing in himself. But once he got his confidence back, it returned his joy of Christmas.
Likewise, Mr. Scrooge is someone who stopped believing in Christmas. Which was tied to the shattered image of his father. Lack of belief in his father led to a negative worldview and that led to Mr. Scrooge becoming a bad, selfish person. His Christmas trauma has fueled decades of anger.
We see it with Trudy’s parents, Jason and Linda. They’ve stopped believing in their marriage. But over the course of the night, their rekindled belief in Santa leads to believing in their relationship.
It even extends to Home Alone. The adults don’t believe Home Alone-like traps will work. But Trudy believes. Sure enough, the traps work.
Whether people realize it or not, Violent Night is pushing them to have a little bit more of a childlike confidence in their view of the world. To bring back some positivity to their outlook.
Why is the movie called Violent Night?
Obviously the title is a play on the Christmas song “Silent Night” and sets the tone this is an R-rated action film. Instead of being silent and nice, things are combative and bloody. Our Santa Claus is a former Viking who ended up blessed (or cursed) with the power of Saint Nick. I imagine this is one of those movies where they had the title before the story. So the warrior background is probably something they came up with when trying to figure out “What does a movie called Violent Night even involve?”
Important motifs in Violent Night
Santa Claus is initially having a rough go when it comes to fighting the bad guys. Despite his history as a Viking warrior, he’s rusty. And the first several encounters he survives by the skin of his teeth. It isn’t until he finds a sledgehammer that he is able to fully connect with his long lost self. This is because his weapon of choice was a giant hammer called Skullcrusher. Having a similar weapon is enough for him to recall his combat skill.
As part of Violent Night specifically deals with adults losing belief over time, the hammer is an example of how physical objects can be imbued with meaning, memory, and nostalgia capable of inspiration.
Questions & answers about Violent Night
How did Santa and Trudy communicate?
Jason Lightstone found one of the walkie talkies he had as a kid and gave it to Trudy as a gift, lying that it would allow her to talk to Santa. The other walkie talkie happened to be in the game room that Santa ends up in. It happened to also be on. Meaning Santa could hear Trudy’s dialogue.
The cynical viewer might wonder why the other walkie talkie was even on. And the pedantic viewer might point out that if the walkie talkie had been on this whole time then it probably should have had a dead battery. If you want to be more glass-half-full, then you might choose to believe that Jason added new batteries to the walkie talkies and maybe thought about using the second one to pretend to be Santa. So turned it on but decided against it and left it on?
Odds are, the filmmakers just didn’t think people would even think about the whole thing much less care enough to complain. It’s one of those things we’re just supposed to suspend our disbelief on.
How did Jason steal the money from the vault?
That is an excellent question. Gertrude makes a big deal about how difficult it is to get into the vault. It’s possible Jason would have known the password. But the money was taken the day before. Meaning Jason would have had to go to the house, access the vault, remove crates of money, transfer the money to the nativity display in the front yard, then have a plan to load the money and leave. All without being seen by a house that’s full of staff and has a full security detail? We’re not told that Jason has an accomplice. So he did it all himself?
It’s kind of the most unbelievable aspect of the entire movie. And another thing we’re probably not supposed to think too much about.
Who are the Lighstones? Why are they so important?
It seems the Lightstones are an amalgamation of family corporate dynasties with political influence. Like the Halliburtons. Or the Koch family. The Vanderbilts. Rockefellers. The du Ponts.
The US government has worked with and through the Lightstones to make political deals. So they’re influential in a big way.
How did Santa Claus become Santa Claus?
Violent Night doesn’t clarify whether there was a Santa Clas before this Santa Claus. Like if Christmas magic was already a thing and he was just selected to carry on the name after the previous Claus checked out? Or if he is the first Santa Claus and the whole celebration is something he created?
He does say he’s 1,100 years old. And Christmas is associated with the birth of Jesus Christ. Which happened over 2,000 years ago. That would imply that Christmas magic had already existed. Yet we’re never told exactly what happened. Santa Claus was a viking warrior who sought nothing but violence and treasure. But becoming Santa Claus changed his behavior and life.
Unfortunately, we’re not really told anything more. Was Mrs. Claus someone he was already married to? Or someone Christmas magic also chose? Or who already existed? All Santa tells us is he doesn’t quite understand what Christmas magic is or how it works.
Why are Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus fighting?
I would imagine it has something to do with Santa drinking all of the time and generally being upset about the current state of Christmas and how greedy he believes kids have become. That jaded attitude is something that would absolutely affect his home life.
Why did the reindeer come back?
It seems they returned to the North Pole then Mrs. Claus sent them back with the Skullcrusher. Unfortunately, they arrived too late for Santa to use it. It’s implied that the reindeer maybe went specifically to get the hammer? And maybe told Mrs. Claus what was happening? Otherwise, it seems Mrs. Claus had some way of knowing Santa was in trouble. Probably the reindeer showing up without him.
What did Jason’s note to Gertrude say? Why didn’t he want her to see it?
The note was his confession. It said he had stolen the $300 million from her and that this was goodbye. That he wanted to separate completely and begin a new life with his family. Gertrude was meant to find it Christmas morning, after Jason and his family had left in the middle of the night. Not when he was sitting there right next to her.
Why wasn’t Gertrude mad at Jason?
She respected him taking action. She said her own father wasn’t going to let her run the company since she was a woman. So she took the company from him. How could she blame Jason for doing something similar? Someone who makes power moves often looks favorably on someone else who makes a power move, even if it’s against them. You see a similar thing on the show Succession. Logan Roy wants his kids to have the gumption to overthrow him, instead of cowering before him. The whole show explores their inability to do so and his inability to put being a father over his competitive spirit.
Now it’s your turn
Have more unanswered questions about Violent Night? Are there themes or motifs we missed? Is there more to explain about the ending? Please post your questions and thoughts in the comments section! We’ll do our best to address every one of them. If we like what you have to say, you could become part of our movie guide!