Die Hard is a Christmas movie and the new Violent Night movie with David Harbor is a great proof of that.
Violent Night has just released an intense trailer where David Harbor transforms into a santa claus very different from the legendary good-natured man we know, because now will fight against some terrorists who have kidnapped a family on Christmas night.
If the premise sounds familiar, maybe it’s because Bruce Willis starred in a fairly similar story in Hard to Kill, a film that has already become a classic of the holidays and that always inspires great debates about whether it counts as a Christmas movie or not.
In out of focus we had the opportunity to talk with the director of Violent Night: Tommy Wirkola on what actually constitutes a christmas movie and what he hopes to achieve with this new film.
How do we know a movie is a Christmas movie?
Tommy Wirkola is a Norwegian director best known for his films “type cinema B”, What death-snow or the tape Nazi zombies. And although he already had experience directing the blockbuster of Hansel & Gretel with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Artenton the director confessed to us that “This is the first time I’ve really managed a big budget and done business with a studio up close.”
Wirkola received a script proposal to direct the film more than a year ago and immediately fell in love with the story: “It was like Die Hard but with Santa Claus. Demons! That was too cool. I loved everything it meant because it really felt like a Christmas movie.”
For Wirkola, the most important thing was to be able to find the balance between his bloody humor and the idea of a winter movie, since it ensures that any story can become a Christmas story.
“The point is that you have a heart. Like in Bad Santa or Die Hard, which can have action scenes, blood and a lot of intensity, but at the center they have an idea about love and the union of the holidays, that’s what constitutes a Christmas movie.“
Tommy Wirkola, Out of Focus
Why mix genres?
The director confessed to us that Universal gave him great creative freedom and that he was even pushed to follow his instincts, so he was inspired by the movie Bruce Willis, Peter Jackson and Sam Raimi to bring “a film that can be extremely violent, but has something nice to say at the end.”
For him, the real secret of the film is David Harbour, who in this film is presented as a Santa Claus very brutal. According to Wirkola, “This Santa is lost because no one believes in him anymore and he doesn’t know where to go. So when he gets a call from a girl, whose family is being besieged by terrorists, he decides to do something to get the Christmas spirit back.”
The director assures that David Harbor has everything to become an iconic character and the tape a classic of the time. But for him, the secret lies in being able to slightly modify the conventions of the film genre and mix them, since “These days, you can’t just make a Christmas movie. You have to turn it around.”
“Actually, if you think about movies like Die Hard or Bad Santa, where it bends the rules of the genre a little bit, it’s exciting and it gives the audience something new, they feel different. That’s how you make a truly iconic story that can become a seasonal classic.”
Tommy Wirkola, Out of Focus
¡Violent Night will be released in US theaters on December 2!
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Violent Night: Why is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
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