Friday, December 8, 2023

'Tis the Season - Krampus (2015)

Streaming Service: Peacock
Movie Name/Year: Krampus (2015)
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Length: 1h 38min
Rating: PG-13
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Actors: Emjay Anthony, Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler, Conchata Ferrell, Allison Tolman, David Koechner, Maverick Flack, Queenie Samuel, Lolo Owen, Sage Hunefeld, Luke Hawker, Seth Green, Thor
Blurb from IMDb: A boy who has a bad Christmas accidentally summons a festive demon to his family home.

Selina’s Point of View:
Since we’re having some trouble getting into Christmas rom-coms this year, I’ve filled the ‘Tis the Season calendar with mostly other kinds of holiday films. Starting here with a comedy horror, Krampus.
This wasn’t my first watch-through of Krampus. I love campy horror comedies. Especially when they have a bit of warped Christmas magic in them. This particular Christmas flick reminds me most of Gremlins (1984). Admittedly the 80s film is a bit better, but Krampus has that same kind of campy, over-the-top, childhood nightmare feel.

Krampus takes a cue from the better low-budget horror films out there and lets the majority of the scares exist in the viewers imagination. I’m not saying it is low-budget, it’s not, but it’s still a trick that elevates a horror film even when the money is there to spend. There are still a few scenes with hokey CGI, and full-on views of the titular character, but it’s really only the last 20-minutes of the film (approximately). It still manages to be an exceptionally tense movie, without skimping on the comedy.
I was impressed. Nothing took me out of the film at all. The settings were spooky, the actors played their parts well – all at roughly the same level, and the ending took a bit of a left turn.
Altogether, Krampus was a solid holiday horror flick. I have every intention of watching it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
Every year there are so many bright and shiny Christmas movies, sometimes it can just be a bit much. For that reason, I do enjoy mixing it up and watching a few Christmas horror movies or thrillers. Good ones are hard to come by, but most are at least entertaining. I also really enjoy movies that are based on bits of folklore that come to life. Krampus peeked into German and Austrian folklore entwined with the holiday season and delivered a dark, yet relatable, fairytale.
When Krampus first released, I remember that I was excited to watch and enjoyed the experience as soon as it was available On-Demand or via one of my streaming services. Watching in preparation for today’s review was my second viewing. While Krampus no longer held the element of surprise for how the movie’s story played out, I still found myself invested in the experience all over again.
It’s really a terrifying idea – that there’s a dark being out there to balance out Santa’s light; just waiting to come for the ultra-naughty people that coal would be too good for.

I think Krampus delivered this concept fairly well. The opening credits scene of commercialized holiday chaos as a backdrop to the warm vocals of a Bing Crosby Christmas song set the tone for what was to follow. I connected and empathized with the main character, Max, as he had to deal with bullying and his dysfunctional family.
Krampus also had help from an outstanding cast. David Koechner (Vicious Fun, National Champions, American Dad!) is skilled at embodying nutty doofus characters that drive you crazy. His character reminded me a lot of Randy Quaid’s (Independence Day, The Ice Harvest, Real Time) Cousin Eddie character in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). Krampus felt like the horror version of that movie – whether the parallel was intended or not.
There were flashes of levity laced into the shock and cringeworthy moments that kept Krampus from feeling too bleak or heavy.
I still enjoyed watching Krampus for the 2nd time. It had just the right blend of naughty and nice to lift my spirits while I’ve been working on getting better from the seasonal ‘creeping crud.’ If you’re looking for a little thrill this Holiday Season to enjoy with a nice mug of hot chocolate, Krampus wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 66%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 52%
Metascore – 49%
Metacritic User Score – 7.6
IMDB Score –6.2/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 3/5
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment