Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Movie review: Krampus

Santa Claus brings gifts, joy, and good cheer for the holidays. His little known counterpart, Krampus, brings punishment and pain. Be careful what you wish for.

Emjay Anthony (Max), Adam Scott (Tom), Toni Collette (Sarah), Stefania Owen (Beth), Krista Stadler (Omi), Conchata Ferrell (Aunt Dorothy), Allison Tolman (Linda), David Koechner (Howard), Luke Hawker (Krampus).

Santa Claus is known for the joy and happiness he brings to the good children at Christmas. Less well known is his counterpart Krampus, who focuses on those who have been naughty. When Max writes a Christmas wish list in a fit of depression and anger, it is intercepted by Krampus who in a twisted way, will grant Max's wishes.

Krampus is a twisted story further warped by the twisted presentation. With some dark humor and grotesque creatures obviously resulting from a psychotic episode, the story is engaging and holds interest very well. Add in some gore, drama, and tension and we are left with a nicely done fantasy horror that puts a new twist on Christmas.

Acting was decent with Scott and Koechner almost in a joint lead role. Fortunately they worked well together and led the film nicely. Collette was decent if slightly bland, while Ferrell brought her usual cynical snark. Stadler was interesting and, along with Anthony and the remainder of the cast, rounded out the film well.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were enjoyable with a natural feel. The real gem here however was representation of the creatures in the film which was very good and added excellent body to the film using CGI, costuming, and animatronics. Dialogue was campy and fun. Sound and soundtrack were fitting.

Overall Krampus is a wonderful addition to the long list of happy holiday films for those of us who enjoy seeing the darker side of things once in a while. Instead of ripping wrapping, show us some shredded flesh! Those who enjoy a seasonal horror flick should enjoy this one, while those who celebrate traditionally will no doubt be disappointed if not offended.

With plenty of disturbing images, violence, some gore, and a bit of foul language, this should be fine for teens and above. Kids who still worship Santa probably should not watch this one.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 12.17.16
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Dark Humor, Monsters, Fantasy Horror, Christmas, Horror

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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