Writers: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty
Plot: A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a festive demon to his family home.
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics Score: 65% Audience 51%
Why I Watched It: I love Christmas and Horror movies so a match made in film heaven.
Random Thoughts: Couple of interesting points here the first one is the fact that critics liked it more than audience on Rotten Tomatoes, that doesn’t happen very often. Director Michael Dougherty did the cult fav, I guess I can kind of call it that Trick ‘r Treat and this is his follow up. I thought Trick ‘r Treat was interesting but a tad over rated but it was also liked by critics. The other thing to point out this is kind of an odd cast for this movie, let’s just call it random.
Also a heads h up there’s a lot of direct to DVD movies out there with Krampus in the title.
What I Liked: The film feels like a grim fairy tale, the mood and look was very good, what’s cool is this is a film set at Christmas and it has more dread than cheer. Right off the bat this film is short darkly and you just feel all is not right.
Christmas horror films is a weird sub-genre and there’s more than you would think, but a lot fall into the PG-13 zone and is more silly this one is a hard R and it’s true horror movie set not only with a Christmas theme but it’s main selling point.
The cast for the most part is good, I really liked Toni Collette as a mother and wife and sister who just seems tired of it all or by it all and that’s the thing with this film it has this under current of sadness to it, no one is really that happy, and to it’s credit there’s times where they deal with it, there’s a few good little character moments here, during the film the relationships are fleshed out more than in most horror films and the adults are more than cliches. By the end you actually care who lives and dies. Also give it credit it does have some nice atmosphere and a couple of scary moments.
What I Didn’t Like: The beginning was very board and was a little worried we would be just telling with stock stereotypes and some of the acting by the younger cast was wooden, let’s say it didn’t start off great, it started like most Christmas family comedies and it does drag to get to the main plot and of course the horror.
The horror here is a mixed bag, I wished the used the Krampus character more, the use different demons or whatever you want to call them and some were silly, gingerbread cookies start attacking and elves, I thought it was turning into Gremlins, at those points the tone was off, cause the film is dark and it goes into the silly bit then it gets serious again for the big finale.
Also the backstory and the lore around Krampus left me a little confused, not sure I got his deal cause it seems odd. cause all the kid does here is rip up his letter to Santa and if that means you unleash this monster than wouldn’t most families be killed by Krampus at Christmas.
I also see why Critics have liked it more than audiences, it’s a well made film but not a really satisfying horror film, I didn’t like the ending at all. Also I will say it’s a downer of a film, almost mean spirited at times.
Final Thoughts: An interesting film and one that does hold your attention but not a film good enough to be a Christmas Horror classic, meaning something you would watch around the holidays.