Are you in the Christmas Spirit? You better be otherwise Krampus will get you!
It’s 22 December and Max (Emjay Anthony) finds his parents, sister and extended family are all arguing, causing tension and detsroying the holiday spirit. Upset Mex rips up his letter to Santa, inadvertidly bringing to town Krampus -a demonic spirit who punishes those who are bad at Christmas. Can the family survive Christmas?
I didn’t know much about this film apart from it featured an evil Santa type figure terorising Toni Collette (how did she end up in this movie!) and family. It may seem a rather odd plot for a Christmas themed movie but Krampus is a little Christmas gem, a dark comedy horror to go up against the sugary chessy Christmas films you normally see this time of year.
At first the movie seems like a normal Christmnas movie as the family gets together and then fall out leaving poor, adorable Max to finally give up on Christmas due to their bickering. Then suddenly the film changes into black comedy with lots of horror filled moments. Gingerbread men are denomic (and annoyingly sound like Alvin and The Chipmunks), there’s something hiding under the snow and someone is on the roof and it ain’t Santa. Considering the film isn’t gory it manages to provide some good jump scares and deaths that are both horrific and funny at the same time. I don’t think I can look at a Jack in the Box the same way again. I also liked how the film flashbacks one’s character previous horrific encounter with Krampus in stop motion. It’s creepier than it sounds.
While their characters acknowledge how ridiculous the whole thing is, the actors themselves take the film seriously enough so that you feel the peril they are in. Toni Collete and Adam Scott are strong as Max’s parents who have to learn to fight back against Krampus, while the extended family including David Koechner as the redneck uncle and Conchata Farrell as the blunt Aunt Dorothy are a hoot in their broad roles. Even the kids aren’t annoying-except the ones who are meant to be.
This will not be the top of everyones Christmas list and some may find the whole thing a bit too silly to take seriously. The ending was also a bit underwhelming considering all thats gone before it. But for those looking for an alternative Christmas movie you could do a lot worse than Krampus!
Rating 3.5/5 – don’t upset Krampus this Christmas, go watch this darkly funny horror