Tis that time of the year when you’re willing to watch just about anything that’s got that holiday spirit. Krampus is a messy but entertaining horror comedy about a family trying to survive Christmas after summoning an ancient demon. So, it’s your classic board up your windows and keep the fire hot because the creatures are coming type of movie. And those are some of my favorite movies, like Feast and The Mist. Add to this the festive atmosphere and you got yourself a perfect movie for the holidays. The opening scene is pure perfection as we watch people trample each other while buying gifts in a supermarket. Of course, the entire sequence is in slow motion so we don’t miss anything.
The cast was surprisingly good as we not only have Adam Scott and Toni Collette but also David Koechner. I remember a time when I didn’t like his antics but now I’m absolutely loving him. They deliver a genuinely funny “family coming over for the holidays” experience. Before we go any further I must tell you that there are at least five different Krampus movies. And this one, Krampus from 2015 is definitely the best one. I think that the rest of them tried to cash in on the popularity of the concept. Moving on, the special and practical effects are quite good complete with various objects coming to life and attacking our poor protagonists.
I don’t want to reveal too much but let’s just say things you usually see during Christmas time will now become bloodthirsty monsters. Bloodthirsty monsters that look actually scary and quite nasty. And Krampus himself looks absolutely stunning. He’s huge, menacing and he’s got these chains all over him. Too bad we didn’t get to see him more in the movie. In this sense, the movie feels very much like an eighties movie. A PG-13 eighties movie. And just like some of those movies, when the action starts things become simply too hectic. People are screaming, creatures are attacking and the whole experience becomes too messy.
I also have a feeling that they didn’t know where they were going with this one in terms of the gore. Should the evil elves butcher an entire family or just some of the children? Are the kids taken by Krampus dead or is he planning to do something with them? Not sure if they’re willing to go all the way, the writer and director left things kind of vague. And vague is never good when it comes to this type of movie. Either go all-out and butcher every last living thing in that house gleefully or go the PG route and make sure everyone is okay.
In case you’re wondering Ivan Reitman is the expert of those a bit scary but still PG movies like Ghostbusters and Evolution. On the plus side, this is a relatively fast-paced and short movie. Krampus is also a movie based on a mythological creature from German folklore that’s been scaring children for many centuries. This is why I think the movie will have a better reception in Europe. Hell, people in Austria and Germany dress up as Krampus during the holidays and go around town scaring children.
We already talked about the Dutch horror comedy Sint AKA Saint about a killer zombie Santa Claus. You might want to check it out if you’re looking for movies like Krampus along with A Christmas Horror Story. Michael Dougherty’s horror comedy Trick ‘r Treat is also a great choice. So, in the end, if you’re looking for something casual to watch this Christmas Krampus should do just fine.
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writers: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Cast: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen
Fun Facts: Director and writer Michael Dougherty decided to make the first half of the movie a classic Christmas comedy with things getting increasingly dark in the second half. He also made Krampus a more sadistic character, who enjoys toying with his victims instead of killing them outright.