When his mean-spirited relatives ruin his Christmas, a boy
accidentally summons a Christmas demon who terrorizes his family.
Directed by Michael Dougherty
Written by Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner,
Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony,
Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler
With the Christmas movie subgenre filled to the brim with happy endings and holiday cheer, it was a good change of pace to see a Christmas film with some demonic rage. Krampus gives the German legend a modern twist, showing audiences what happens when families don't appreciate Christmas for what it is. From its opening credits showing the dangers of commercialism and obligation, Krampus proves to be the sarcastic and crazy Christmas satire we had no idea we needed.
Krampus succeeds as both a funny comedy and a scary horror film, balancing two genres that either mesh really well or fall apart easily. Though I'd hoped it would be scarier, the film still does justice to the legend of Krampus, even if we only see the demon himself for a limited amount of time. The real scares come from the minions of Krampus, who take the form of traditional Christmas toys with a sadistic freakish twist, particularly the jack in the box slug monster. You'll know what I mean when you see the film.
The ending brings up an interesting bunch of questions and isn't as bleak as I'd expected. The design for Krampus looks scary from the back, but his face looks like it was ripped off the front of a pirate ship. Also, as with most Christmas movies, the existence of Krampus implies the existence of Santa Claus, who is noticeably absent from the film. Just once I would like to see a suitable explanation for the mythology surrounding the Christmas holiday. Still, the film is a new Christmas movie for adults to watch while the kids are watching Charlie Brown.