Krampus - Review

If you're a fan of movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Trick r' Treat, you will adore Krampus. Its perfect blend of holiday horror and ridiculous monsters makes Krampus one of the most creatively refreshing movies of the year.

Plot

Krampus begins as a comedy, with an amazing opening sequence that depicts the worst moments of Black Friday shopping in slow motion, with "It's the most wonderful time of the year" playing in the background. Once the film gets into its groove, it becomes something really special. Director Michael Dougherty isn't afraid to kill off major characters early, which gives the film a unpredictable quality that few horror films still have. I was completely shocked by the film's ending, both scared and in disbelief. In the last 20 minutes of the film, it seems as if the energy is winding down, only to come back again freakier and more ridiculous than ever. This is the best aspect of Krampus, its ability to create monsters and ideas that are initially scary, but so ridiculous that they inspire more laughs than shrieks. This is still a very scary movie though; I was nervously clutching my icee at many points in the film.

Performances

Krampus boasts a great cast, with comedy veterans like Adam Scott (Park and Recreation) and David Koechner (Anchorman) leading the pack. The child actors are also good, but the real star of the show is Krampus himself, always being present as an overbearing dread upon the family he is punishing. He is truly terrifying under his hood, but unfortunately he loses a bit of his ferocity once his face is revealed. Krampus is truly evil, showing no mercy to the family he is attacking. Just when I thought he might be showing a little mercy to a character, he goes right back to his old ways.

Style

Krampus is a film practically bursting with style, from its monster design to its writing. All of the creatures that Krampus summons are variants of classic Christmas traditions, the highlight being the Jack-in-the-Box. I could have done without the CGI gingerbread men, as they didn't seem to live up to the terrifying ridiculousness that the other monsters created. Krampus himself is a delight to watch, bringing an unpredictable nature to every scene he is in. With so many drab and cliched horror movies coming out recently, it is very refreshing to see a film that knows how ridiculous its own concept is, and uses that ridiculousness to its advantage.

Summary

Krampus is a breath of fresh air to the tired pg-13 horror genre, effectively balancing scares with laughs, and always being unpredictable, thanks to Krampus himself.

Pros- Monster design, Krampus, CRAZY ending

Cons- It takes awhile for Krampus to show up