I was hoping for a new favorite Christmas movie, but Krampus just isn’t it.
Basic Synopsis: The evil Santa Claus doppleganger of German folklore targets a family for losing their Christmas spirit.
Brief Thoughts: I’ve been looking forward to seeing Krampus for a while now, and I can’t help but be disappointed in the movie now that I’ve finally seen it.
It doesn’t take long for the movie to introduce its hulking bad guy as he stalks the family’s teen girl through a blizzard that has suddenly hit her subdivision. I might be alone, but I was getting full blown 30 Days of Night vibes. Obviously Krampus was aiming for something a little more ridiculous than that dark vampire film, but the tone being set up in this early scene was still super promising.
Then everything changed. Just as the interest in what this folk baddie is capable of peaks, he disappears from his own movie. Like Batman in Dark Knight Rises. Instead of a police force fighting back against Bane and his thugs, we have gingerbread men attacking children for their dark lord. That’s right, gingerbread men. On the one hand, they did provide one of my favorite moments of the movie, but… gingerbread men. Then angry teddybears, demonic ceramic angles, and giant jack-n-the-box worms. But they’re not just tools on his utility belt, they’re his employees as he’s off somewhere doing absolutely nothing.
So much for the title character.
Biggest Complaint: I did my best to accept the tone the movie chose to go with even though I would’ve loved to see something that took itself a little more seriously, but the one thing that completely destroyed my will to enjoy was when it started employing ridiculous sound effects. Specifically, the noise of someone slipping on a banana peel. It got a big NOPE from me.
Randomly Awesome Quote: These are the type of jokes to expect in this one. Some are much better than others.
“I told you we should’ve gone to my brother’s.”
“Sure, Howard. Christmas on a pig farm.”
“Jesus was born in a barn!”
Is there a Dog in this Horror Film?: Yes.
Unanswered Question #1: What the hell were all those snowmen?
Unanswered Questions #2: Do these parents actually care about their children? I mean, they could be a little more upset about them being kidnapped and potentially murdered by a group of monsters…
Let’s talk about that ending (Spoilers): Anyone else bummed that the movie overstayed its welcome? It had a perfect out to mirror the story the grandma told about her first encounter with Krampus when he hands his signature jingle bell to the lone surviving boy. But no, the kid had to chase Krampus down and stick it to him.
Talk about the ultimate example of “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” It turns out that Krampus isn’t killing everyone so much as just snatching them all up for his snow globe collection. That’s right, Krampus is Brainiac, and since the little boy couldn’t keep his mouth shut he is stuck to live next to the shrunken city of Kandor until the end of time. I don’t know about you, but I found this pretty lame.
Final Thoughts: Krampus is a fun movie that goes further and further out there as it continues. Some will be all for it, while the rest of us can’t help but be a little thrown by where the movie chose to go.
All in all, see it for the animated flashback. Decide for yourself if you want to stay for the rest.