Much like Ebeneezer after his encounter with the spirits, I keep Christmas in my heart year round. So let’s talk about Krampus the Christmas Horror Comedy for 2015. I know I shouldn’t be hard on Krampus, due to it being a PG-13 film and I have yet to find a PG-13 horror film that’s worth its salt. I don’t want this review to just be me bad mouthing a movie that a lot people put a lot of hard work into, but I know that I’m going to fully fail at that. As Krampus is a horror film that left me with a bland taste that has only soured as times passed.
Krampus opens a couple of days before Christmas at the home of the every American upper middle class family. Two families Tom (Adam Scott), his wife Sarah (Toni Collette) along their children, Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen) and Max (Emjay Anthony); along with Sarah’s sister Linda (Allison Tolman), her husband Howard (David Koechner), their children, Stevie (Lolo Owen), Jordan (Queenie Samuel), Howie Jr. (Maverick Flack), and their baby daughter; also Sarah’s Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) and Tom’s elderly grandmother Omi (Krissta Stadler) are spending the holidays together. When festivities turn sour ruining everyone’s Christmas spirit. Or just Max’s Christmas spirit, maybe? Because Omi has enough spirit for everybody. Any this leads to a freak storm rolling over the city and causing a massive power outage. Beth gets worried about her boyfriend and talks her father into letting her walk to her boyfriends house alone in a snow storm. When she arrives there she beset by a large creature, which she of course flees and eventually hides under a vehicle. When she nab by some unseen baddie. After some amount of time Tom and Howard go looking for her and find a “horror show” at Beth’s boyfriends house and flee back home, getting attacked along the way. When they get back to the house with Howard taking first watch. During which he falls asleep, allowing the fire to die and a hook come down the chimney and drag away Howie Jr. Now after the death of two children and night abject terror does grandmother Omi tell everyone what’s happening, that they are being terrorized by the demon Krampus the shadow of Saint Nickolas. A creature she once encountered in her youth when she lost her Christmas spirit, resulting in her parents along with rest of the town being dragged down to hell. She alone was left along with a bell (I think) inscribed with his name as a reminder for what happens when one loses their Christmas spirit. Armed with knowledge can the scared families band together and survive Christmas?
Spoiler. The answer is no and in an ending that reminds me way too much to the conclusion of St. Elsewhere. The whole ending falls flat to me and gets way too cheesy even for a holiday film. An it’s not like the film leading up was good to begin with.
The comedy falls just as flat as the horror. With Howard and Aunt Dorothy being funny. But with David Koechner and Conchata Ferrell it’s no surprise as the two are amazing character actors. Sadly they’re the only characters that are any fun.
Final thoughts, I like the idea of holiday horror films and sometimes they really hit their marks. Films like Trick r’ Treat and Gremlins being jewels of the holiday horror flicks. It’s sad that Krampus falls so flat as the film had a lot of potential with its source material. But the execution was lacking, the characters were stale and plot paper-thin. But the biggest grievance Krampus commits is that it’s boring. The only thing I want from my entertainment above all else is to be entertaining. 3/10