Krampus: A Bloody Holiday Treat.

12/19/2015


Tis was the week before Halloween, and a girl was awake, 
searching for horrors, Krampus was a happy mistake.
The promise of wreaths and a blood bathe galore,
oh sweet Gingy made her long for more.

Okay, so maybe lyric rewrites aren't my speciality. And if you don't know who Gingy is, I question your movie taste. (Shrek, just FYI.) This is normally my boyfriend's corner of the Internet, as I am no reviewer and pretty much suck at getting my thoughts across eloquently. I'm a mess in the brain department, but also a horror buff. And a little crazed when it comes to Christmas. I am actually writing this while wearing a Christmas cat apron, and accompanied by the jingle of the bells on my antlers. Because, well, why not?

When I first saw the trailer for Krampus way back in October, I knew I needed to see this movie. There was no question about it. There appears to be a major lack in the Christmas-Horror world. Sure, you have the obvious choices like Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, P2, Silent Night (They like using that pun, huh?), but there aren't enough to keep me entertained throughout the entire month of December. The travesty! It's a joy to have a new movie to add to my list.

Now, let's get one thing out of the way. If you're going into this movie with either high expectations, or expecting to experience some sort of Rob Zombie movie, don't be idiotic. There's a killer gingerbread man in one of the trailers. Come on now! I had the displeasure of viewing Krampus with a guy who apparently expected it to be some spine chilling horror, and bitched about the silliness of it for hours later. I'll repeat for good measure, it has a killer gingerbread man in the trailer. 'Kay?


Krampus is pretty self explanatory. It's about Krampus, the horned opposite of Santa from Alpine Folklore. He supposedly punishes children who have misbehaved, unlike Santa who rewards them. That is a real simple way of putting it, if you want to read more Google is your best friend. But you are here for the movie review. So.. Upon the opening scenes of Krampus, I laughed, went awww, and was slapped in the face by festiveness. To be completely honest, I was a little worried as I started to debate whether we were in for a Gremlins experiences (nothing wrong with that!), and not much horror going on. But I was proved wrong not long after. Was the start of the story a little dragged out? Maybe. But I appreciated the opportunity to get to know all the characters. The dysfunctional "classic" american family, who bicker constantly and have one child who wishes for a perfect Christmas.

Said child was played by Emjay Anthony, his character Max Engel was arguably the main character of this movie and he did a pretty good job at playing the role. Parks and Recreation's Adam Scott played the loveable father, and Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Fright Night, Little Miss Sunshine) played the meh mother. They were decently written characters but there wasn't much to note. David Koechner (The Office, Anchorman, Final Destination 3) played Howard, the character you loved to hate. He was possibly my favourite solely for the fact that he made me laugh in every scene he was in. It also starred Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men), Krista Stadler, Stefania LaVie Owen (The Carrie Diaries), and Allison Tolman (Fargo). The acting was good, but cheesy at times which I think was the goal. It was a cheesy gore feast.

The story itself, as I previously mentioned, revolved around Max. A young boy who wants nothing more than a perfect Christmas with his family. He wishes for this in a letter to Santa, but after getting teased and causing a "little" family tiff, rips up said letter and chucks it out of his window and into the night sky. The scene is beautifully shot as the pieces of paper magically get pulled into a mini tornado of sorts and we watch as the power of the town goes out. You have to give the movie at least that. With the blizzard outside, the arguing family's only question is how they are going to survive the upcoming few days (not the mention Christmas itself!) without any gas or electricity. If only they knew..

From that moment on, the movie really gets going. The first death scene has great suspense, and although you know exactly what is going to happen, you still find yourself wanting to yell at the character to move it. Other "frightful" scenes are a mixture of horrory and just plain silly, but that's the joy in it. The elves we meet later on in the movie are bloody terrifying, and a take on them that I haven't seen in any other Christmas/Horror adaptation.

Time to be a Grinch and mention the things that I didn't enjoy about the movie. The first death that I mentioned above involved one of the many children in this movie, and I felt as though the parents managed to forget about said child with a blink of an eye. They wanted a search party, and then boom... Let's all barricade ourselves in for the night, forget him/her. That annoyed me. Secondly, we get a little expected tale midway through the movie to explain who Krampus is. But it's animated. Say, what? Yes, it was beautifully done and fun, I suppose. But it did take away from the horrory aspect a little. Unless I am missing something completely obvious, it was just weird. And lastly (ironic), the ending. It was.. Well.. Three people said "what?" as the end credits rolled. I saw it coming due to a fairly obvious spoiler you will realize once you watch it, but it still doesn't make absolute sense to me. But you know what? I enjoyed the fun of getting to the ending so much, that I kinda don't care. Which is a terrible thing to say, I know. But.. Did I mention I really like horrors and Christmas?

This was undoubtedly a movie that had a better atmosphere in theatres. I jumped a grand total of twice during the film and that is pretty darn impressive for me as I am dead on the inside and hardly ever get a fright when it comes to horrors. Saying this, I doubt I would of had I seen this for the first time on DVD. The surround sound most definitely played a part in the scare factor. The other thing I'd like to mention is that if you have a phobia of clowns you may want to skip Kampus. My mother is, and she wound up in the fetal position and felt the need to ask me to go to the toilets with her. So, yup. May want to consider that.


All in all, I enjoyed Krampus  and it was exactly what I went in expecting. It had the Christmas movie feel without being a proper one, and didn't take itself too seriously which made it all the more enjoyable. I'd recommend you go to the theatres to watch it if you're interested in a good bit of horror style cheese, but otherwise maybe wait for it to go down to £7 in the sales next Christmas. And as I said in the beginning, if you take movies seriously, give it a miss. You may wind up a tad wound up.. Or even, tinselled up. Get it? I'll stop typing now.

Merry Christmas!

- Anne x

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