Krampus is a breath of fresh into the dead rotting corpse that has been Horror movies, not since Cabin in the Woods have I had this much fun watching people being picked off one by one by some unknown force. It’s great to see Comedic elements intertwined with general uneasiness while not being shoved down the viewer’s throat. Krampus starts off around Christmas time where we’re shown that the REAL evil during Christmas time is the blatant capitalism that consumes us as we beat each other just to get a sweet deal on a “hoverboard”. Little to the viewers knowledge that this is just a red herring because we learn much later that the real REAL monster is in fact Krampus.
Now you’re probably wondering “What the Hell is a Krampus?” and you’re right to be wondering that because most people don’t know the “deep” and “complex” lore of Krampus. Remember in Peter Pan where Peter’s shadow was a mischievous little so and so who would occasionally slip away from Peter and cause a little bit of trouble? That’s basically Krampus! Only instead of being the shadow of Peter Pan, he’s the shadow of Ol’ Jolly St. Nicholas, and instead of being a mischievous little scamp, he throws down and beats your naughty non-Christmas loving ass red with a switch and then drags you back into his forest in a wicker basket. Ha ha nothing better than teaching kids good life morals than using kidnapping by a demonic entity to drive your point home.
Now that you’ve got a good idea of how Krampus goes about his day to day business we’ll talk about the main protagonists in this movie a family with no last name. That right there is a good sign for a horror movie,the less we know about the characters the less likely we are to care about what happens to them. Tom (played by funnyman Adam Scott) and his family are having another hectic Christmas his son Max is constantly being bullied,his daughter Beth in classic Horror Film teenage trope wants to spend Christmas with her crusty boy friend and his Wife Sarah’s (Played by Toni Collette) is having her sister over. Now if there’s one thing Max loves,it’s Christmas, but this Christmas everything gets ruined because of his awful cousins,his Aunt and Uncle and basically every member of his family just giving a big ol’ middle finger to the Christmas season. Well everyone except his Austrian Grandma who is nicknamed “Omi”. Omi tells Max to keep the faith in the Christmas spirit, but Max in a fit of unrelenting angst rips up his letter to Santa and declares Christmas to be a load of hogwash,thus sealing his family’s fate because if there’s one thing Krampus is about, it’s making sure that EVERYONE enjoys Christmas because if they don’t, they won’t be around for much longer.
For the rest of the movie we’re treated to a Holly Jolly Hell Ride as Krampus uses his mystical power to trap the family in an Icy Suburban Hell,using Christmas and Winter themed traps to stalk the family. There are about 4 or 5 locations in the movie which adds an almost claustrophobic feeling to the whole film. The sets are also really good, giving a sense of dread as more and more snow piles around the house during a blizzard. When it comes to the acting it could stand to be somewhat better, I wouldn’t expect anything too extraordinary but at times it seems like the cast is sort of just dredging through lines and not really having fun with it. Although it could just be that I was judging the scene wrong, as the movie isn’t without it’s comedic scenes, one of which is the family’s great aunt teaching them how to make Alcoholic Christmas drinks and then letting them try said drinks, which is my kind of Great Aunt.
Overall this is a great movie,on par with Gremlins. I’m putting it on my list of movies that I watch at Christmas time right in between “A Christmas Story” and “Christmas at Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”, so long “Die-Hard”.
You can pick up a copy of Krampus over at Amazon.