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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Nikamund the Red

Violent Night on IMDb

Plot Overview

Merry ChristmasChristmas Night

door wreathScrooge
giftIt's Christmas eve at the Lightstone residence in Greenwich, Connecticut. Gathered for the merry­making are the matriarch Gertrude (Beverly D'Angelo)—she owns the family business after her husband's passing,—her alcoholic daughter Alva (Edi Patterson) with her poseur boy­friend Morgan Steel (Cam Gigandet,) Alva's nearly grown son Bertrude[!] “Bert” (Alexander Elliot,) Alva's brother Jason Light­stone (Alex Hassell,) his (negro) estranged wife Linda (Alexis Louder,) and their 7-year-old (light skinned) daughter Gertrude “Trudy” (Leah Brady) with frizzy hair. Uninvited are a home invasion crew led by Jimmy “Mr. Scrooge” Martinez (John Leguizamo.) Missing are the slaughtered staff & security. Caught in the cross fire is Santa Claus (David Harbour) whose spooked reindeer have left him stranded.

gardenerTrying to avoid the bedlam Santa repairs to a back shed where he stumbles upon manual, gardening implements meant to poke, slice or pound, but they remind him of his pre-Santa days when he was a Viking warrior named Nikamund the Red. He emerges from the shed a force to be reckoned with. But the night is still young.


Nickamund does rhyme with Saint Nick, but the jolly fellow has a different origin. Fourth century Christian prelate Saint Nicholas was renowned for his generosity and came to be celebrated throughout Europe. In Holland he was Sint Nikolaas or simply “the good saint,” which in Dutch is Sinterklaas. The British colonists in the New World mis­pro­nounced it: “Santa Claus.” We might better under­stand this movie if we explored this good saint's generosity as embodied in Noah trans­formed into Santa.

Santa's workshopSanta provisions his sleigh with gifts manu­factured by elves at the North Pole. Let's compare Santa's sleigh with Noah's ark. Researcher Mark DeWayne Combs working from Genesis and ancient sources tells us, “we can reasonably propose accurate proportions of the ark to be 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet in height” (27). That would dwarf the men working on it making them seem like little elves. Further­more, “Christ him­self referenced the flood (Matthew 24:39) … that those out­side of Noah's immediate family ‘knew not until the flood came and took them all away.’ … This brings a detail that would impact the choice of location — the absolute necessity of isolation” (Combs 52). In our modern Santa myth, the elves' construction takes place at the supremely isolated North Pole.

SantaSanta's sleigh is pulled by eight reindeer harnessed in pairs. Noah's ark was filled with pairs of exotic animals. (Gen. 7:17) “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth.” Santa's sleigh also flies up above the earth. The ark landed on (Gen. 8:5) “the tops of the mountains”, the roof of the world. The sleigh lands on the rooftops, too.

stockingsNext, Santa comes down the chimney to take care of the families on his route. Noah himself collapsed in a drunken heap to deal with the families in turn. (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth over­spread.” At this point he's to take care of all of his three children and the grand­kids, and so cover all the children on earth, not violating any laws of physics. Our movie covers two family lines; Noah's had three sons but he paired up two of them. Here's what happened as rendered in a Civil War vintage wood­cut, made after a drawing by Julius Schnorr von Carols­feld (German painter, 1794–1872) from his archive, published in 1877.

drunken Noah and his three sons

The alternate image text by licensor iStock.com/Getty Images explains Noah and his fermented grapes: “When he drank some of the wine, he got drunk and uncovered him­self inside his tent. Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father's nakedness and told his two brothers who were outside. Shem and Japheth took a garment and placed it on their shoulders. Then they walked in back­wards and covered up their father's nakedness. Their faces were turned the other way so they did not see their father's nakedness (Genesis 9:21-23).” They covered the old man to prevent him from catching a chill in the mountains as it was no longer summer.

Xmas cardmaking a listThe song, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” tells us, “He's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice.” Ham, unlike his two respectful brothers, was the naughty one mocking Noah in his state of undress. In our movie Bert was the naughty one exposing the location of a present and its message inside, which was supposed to stay hid till morning. Trudy was the nice one as noted on Santa's nice list: “Listens to parents.”

Noah sorts out his gifts according to his own naughty and nice lists. (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Shem and his brother Japheth were a nice pair as were Ham and implicitly his son Canaan a naughty pair.

plowingNoah's father Lamech had (Gen. 5:29) “called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” So after the flood one day, Noah took some leisure time, stripped down in his tent, and got drunk. Mrs Noah being a good wife made her­self scarce while Noah decom­pressed from his day's labor. She went off to visit her youngest son Ham telling him not to bother his father. Disobedient Ham came knocking and discovered Noah plastered. He went and mocked him to his two older brothers (Gen. 9:20-23). Ham was perturbed that his father had gotten undressed with­out setting about to procreate as God commanded. He also didn't like his father taking a recess from rebuilding the wrecked world—an inebriated Santa declares, “I'm on a break.” Noah's rejoinder was along the lines of, “Oy! Vey! You want we should have children and work harder? Okay, your descendants (Canaan) can be slaves to your brothers. Oy! Vey!” (Gen. 9:24-27).

In biblical wisdom terms it's like, (Prov. 30:17) “The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.”This punishment may seem excessive until we look at the one similar incident in the Bible of mocking exposure (of a bald head) concerning the prophet Elisha, (2Kings 2:23-24) “And … as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.” The kids liked hair rather than baldness; they got a hairy bear.

eye trimThere's a parity of eye loss and servitude given in (Exodus 21:26) “And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.” Ham and his line—represented by Canaan in his lineage—could be given servitude rather than mutilation. This would be in keeping with the sentiment of Job in, (Job 31:7-8) “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands; Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.” In that woodcut-derived picture above we see Ham after disregarding his mom's caution, checking up on his dad, getting carried away by an eyeful of the dishabille inebriate, and gesturing with his hands to his brothers. If he were to “sow, and another eat” and his “off­spring be rooted out,” that would mean becoming a slave and his off­spring being carried away in slavery. Okay.

The Bible's account leans towards the latter punishment. (Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son [Ham] had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” When Noah woke up, he blessed as a pair the lines of his two respectful sons and cursed Ham's line­—pairing Ham with his youngest son Canaan as was Noah's wont to go by twos—giving them servitude to his other two sons'. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.”

Ham's offspring went into servitude rather than his having an eye put out or what­ever. The animals were in pairs, and Noah dealt with two of his sons, Shem and Japheth, as a pair. There is no fourth son to pair with Ham the youngest, so Ham gets paired with his youngest son Canaan who will inherit Ham's deal any­way. The lines of Noah's other two sons Shem and Japheth would be the masters and Ham's line represented here by Canaan would be the slaves. Writer Bodie Hodge holds forth that: “Generally, from the Middle East in the land of Shinar (modern-day Iraq, where Babel was), Japheth's descendants went north toward Europe and Asia, Ham's went toward Africa, and Shem's remained in the Middle East” (183). The servitude of Ham as passing to his youngest son Canaan also encompassed his eldest son Cush, see Gen. 10:6. Cush is Hebrew for black, whose descendants settled in Africa. Canaan is the youngest son of Ham carrying the curse on the whole family by a figure of speech called a synecdoche whereby a part stands for the whole.

The Canaanites were due for destruction in conflict with Israel, but the Gibeonite branch did a deal with Joshua (Joshua 9:24-27) to have their lives spared in favor of being bond­men, which was more to their liking. A lot of wicked people were wiped out in the Flood, but Ham got the better deal.

Santa winksIn VN Viking Santa went with the original punishment of mauling the bad guys on his naughty list. One of the first ones got fatally stabbed in the eye with an electric tree ornament. Ouch! There was a lot of carnage in this movie, whence the title; it was a veritable killing field. During the end titles Bert pipes up with an impassioned plea to take the naughty list seriously, which I suppose is the point of this take on Santa as was else­where a big to-do on civil rights.

Production Values

” (2022) was directed by Tommy Wirkola. The screenwriters were Pat Casey and Josh Miller. It stars David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Beverly D'Angelo, Alex Hassell, Cam Gigandet and Alexis Louder. Harbour as Santa plays it straight as having been around the block a few more times than most jobs require. Leguizamo as Scrooge is meanness personified. Leah Brady lives up to her nice list description of “Sweet to every­one.” The audience will love her as will parents for her good example, “Kept room clean,” Noah for her being “Kind to animals,” and Rudolph for having, “Invited weird kid to party.” The whole cast did great.

boy and girlred maple
leavesMPAA rated it R for strong bloody violence, language through­out and some sexual references. There is one inter­racial kiss but it was necessary to the plot, it only occurred once, and it was not need­lessly prolonged. The comedy is nicely mixed in with the mayhem. Well effected “Christmas magic” accounts for various violations of the laws of physics. It was filmed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It has a runtime of 1 hour, 52 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This is a Christmas movie but not a children's one. In the Bible God sent the flood, because the earth was (Gen. 6:11) “filled with violence.” A long-lived Noah in such an environment would have had to have learned to deal with it if only for survival, so in a Santa myth derived from his story, it's credible that such past aspects of his life could be brought out to promote a family's safety. It does not come out of left field.

I loved this movie; I'm a big fan of Christmas and the Bible and all that. It was funny throughout and engaging all the way through. This one's a winner … for adults.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects. Video Occasion: Seasonal movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print. Software.

The Book of Jasher. Trans­lated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print.

Combs, Mark DeWayne. End the Beginning. USA: Splinter in the Mind's Eye Pub., 2014. Print.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.