I feel like there's a late-breaking tendency to underrate this one because it's one of the accepted Pixar masterpieces, but it still plays wonderfully.
I had my suspicions that this thing might be dire, from the trailer. "How long can they sustain this idea?" I thought.
Turns out the answer is "Long enough." The movie makes the good choice to NOT just go full edgelord and let the movie ride entirely on the no-longer-all-that-transgressive power of a bad(ass) Santa-- a one-joke premise that would burn out nearly immediately.
Instead, Violent Night basically remakes Die Hard, with a wealthy family straight out of an early…
What if a kid basically had a pet Pinhead, but — unlike the old suburban fantasy films this movie quotes — the family that adopts the monster is deeply dysfunctional and amoral (in the most lovable way)?
My friend Stuart has a small part in this movie, and I take great comfort knowing that the universe somehow saw fit to let him to be in the most Stuart movie ever.