Krampus

"Good"

Krampus Review


Based on ancient mythology, this Christmas horror movie has a gleefully nasty attitude that makes it entertaining even if it isn't properly frightening. This is mainly because the marauding monsters remain sketchy at best, never developing anything more than a superficial sense of dread. But the ace cast is terrific at engaging the audience,and the filmmakers keep viewers gripped as they play merrily with cliches from both horror and holiday movies.

It opens on a recognisably stressed-out Christmas season, as Tom and Sarah (Adam Scott and Toni Collette) feel their relationship straining under the pressure of work and holiday plans. They and their teen kids Beth and Max (Stefania LaVie Owen and Emjay Anthony) are dreading the arrival of their Aunt Linda and Uncle Howard (Allison Tolman and David Koechner) and their boorish kids. Then the drunken Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) turns up unannounced. Tom's German mother (Krista Stadler) watches all of this with a silent, knowing dread. But the real threat is outside the house, as a vicious ice storm settles in, knocking out the power and unleashing a ferocious Anti-Santa and his evil gang of elves and killer toys.

The film is strikingly well shot and edited, as director Michael Dougherty orchestrates the comedy, drama and action to focus on the gifted actors. While the design and in-camera effects are clever, much of the digital effects work is ropey, giving the movie a cartoonish sheen. And the monsters themselves are eerily expressionless: ghoulish puppets with immobile faces. So they're extremely creepy, but not particularly menacing, because they have no personalities at all. Thankfully, Scott, Collette, Koechner and Tolman are experts at sliding effortlessly between comedy, drama and terror. And young Anthony gives the film a blast of resonance as Max, a boy still young enough to believe in Santa who thinks he has brought all of this violence down on his family.

In the end, this is a guilty pleasure movie that merely wants to make the audience laugh and scream in equal measures. But the laughter wins out, even in the most vicious sequence, a particularly frenzied attack in the attic in which it's impossible not to be amused by the grisliness unleashed by a killer jack-in-the-box, teddy bear and angel doll. After the knowingly astute exploration of how Christmas has become a soulless exercise in shopping and coping with obnoxious relatives, this onslaught of relentless nastiness is almost a let-down, probably because the filmmakers aren't quite willing to get genuinely grim during the festive season.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Krampus here:



Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 8 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th December 2015

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Legendary Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 8.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: , Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Thomas Tull

Starring: as Tommy, as Sarah, as Linda, as Howard, as Max, as Aunt Dorothy, Queenie Samuel as Krampus, Conchata Ferrell as Cherub, Luke Hawker as Hero Dark Elf

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.