FILM REVIEW – ‘KRAMPUS’ (2015)

The Christmas season gets a dark and gruesome makeover in Michael Dougherty’s Krampus, out now in theaters everywhere.

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(image courtesy of Legendary Films)

This little gem is a must see for those Christmas horror loving fans. Far better than many of its poorly done predecessors, this one actually takes the time to really explain the purpose of Krampus. Lose the holiday spirit and turn your back on the true meaning of Christmas, kids, and you’re asking for a visit from the underworld’s version of Santa, Krampus!

Young Max (Emjay Anthony, Insurgent) has high hopes going into Christmas. He’s hopeful that the Christmases of the past will return to his family and real Christmas cheer will fill his dysfunctional home.

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(image courtesy of Legendary Films)

Dad, Tom (Adam Scott, Black Mass) works too much, Mom, Sarah (Toni Collette, Tammy, Little Miss Sunshine) is a judgmental perfectionist who loves Martha Stewart way too much. Typical parents of an upper middle class capitalistic society. Sister, Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen, The Lovely Bones) is now a teenager, and is way too old and boy crazy to spend time with brother, Max. Still, thanks to Omi (Krista Stadler, Mobbing) Max’s German speaking grandmother, Max is holding on to a Christmas miracle, as well as his letter to Santa Claus.

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(image courtesy of Legendary Films)

 

This family is strained enough with only Max and Oni having the true Christmas spirit, but let’s just throw in uncle Howard (David Koechner, Anchorman), aunt Linda (Allison Tolman, Fargo) and their brood of four annoying kids, and add to them the aunt with anger management issues and a touch of alcoholism, Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell, Two and a Half Men) and you have a house full of volatility rather than a house where the true Christmas spirit might have a chance to return.

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(image courtesy of Legendary Films)

It all begins at dinner, three days before Christmas. I won’t tell you what causes it, but right after the terrible dinner, Max completely loses faith in the Christmas spirit and Santa Claus, himself. His anger and disillusionment calls forth the mischievous spirit of Christmas, Krampus, and his gleefully evil minions. I would LOVE to tell you all the different beasties they use to represent his minions, but I can’t without spoiling anything. Let me tell you, though, they are delightfully wicked. I cannot count the number of times I laughed at their antics.

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(image courtesy of Legendary Films)

The Bottom Line:
Overall, Krampus was definitely a must-see for lighthearted horror movie lovers. The effects were good, the animatronics were awesome and creepy, and the suspense was perfectly timed. There were no real drag moments, thankfully. The story moves fluidly and you really start to feel for some of the characters you thought could lose without shedding a tear. All things considered, a real good holiday horror movie. The Krampus character could’ve been better done, but the rest of the characters were epic. -7.0/10

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(image courtesy of Legendary Films)

-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine

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