Since 2007 and the introduction of Sam from the Halloween anthology, "Trick R Treat," I have been a fan of director Michael Dougherty. When I heard that he was direction a new movie I was beyond excited. When I found out that the movie was based on the legend of Krampus, I nearly died from happiness. Of course I would love if the movie had been the much anticipated "Trick R Treat" sequel, but a movie about Krampus is probably one of the next best things.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Krampus, I am here to give you some enlightenment. I was not aware of Krampus until about a year ago and ever since learning about him I've become obsessed. Krampus originated out of Alpine folklore and is usually seen as a horned, anthropomorphic figure with a very long tonuge. Krampus is considered the antithesis of St. Nicholas and whereas St. Nicholas rewards those who have been good all year, Krampus punishes those who have been naughty.
Now that we have gotten a short history of Krampus out of the way, let's get back to whats really important - the movie review. "Krampus" tells the story of Max (Emjay Anthony) who desperately wants his parents (Adam Scott and Toni Collette) as well as his extended family, to have the Christmas spirit. It becomes clear that this will not be the case, and Max, in a moment of anger and sadness, rips up his letter to Santa Clause and throws it out the window. Without knowing what he did, this chain of events has summoned up the Christmas demon that is know as Krampus.
I was nervous about seeing the movie when I first found out that it was rated PG-13. Typically horror movies that have this rating tend to not do as well and are often disappointments, but nevertheless I had faith in Dougherty to pull it off. To his credit, he did! The movie doesn't require an R-rating because it doesn't rely on gore to keep the momentum of the movie. Some may argue that they wished the movie could have been darker or edgier and had it been Rated-R it would have accomplished that, but I don't think that's what Dougherty was aiming for. What was most surprising about the movie, and what I really think the movie was trying to capture, was how much heart and soul the characters and the story had. The movie really focused on bringing a torn family back together; however, in doing so there just so happens to be horrific creatures that are involved.
Speaking of creatures, I need to give Dougherty credit on his creature making skills. I am slightly biased because Sam (from Trick R Treat) is essentially my spirit animal and is one of my favorite horror icons (creations), but the creatures in this movie were fantastic. They had fangs, they swallowed people whole, and toys that you once thought were innocent and fun have now turned evil and deadly. I loved it and it really goes to show how creative Daugherty and his team are in creating these creatures. Also, it's apparent how great Daughterty is with child actors. Besides having an amazing cast which included Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, and Allison Tolman, the kid actors were terrific and made the movie much more believable. It's always nice to have characters that you are rooting for as well as watching those characters transform during the duration of the film.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Krampus. Was it scary? Not exactly but it did have some unsettling moments and it kept my attention from beginning to end. I loved the creatures and the final reveal of Krampus as well as watching the family come back together as a unit. I've heard that some people haven't liked the ending, I however did. If you decide to go check out Krampus this holiday season, and I suggest you do, I would love to know your thoughts about the movie and the ending. In conclusion, I think Krampus is a movie that most people can enjoy. There is horror and laughs and the Christmas spirit. Grab your family and your kids and scare them enough so that they fear being on the naughty list and having Krampus visit them this Christmas season.
by Shannon McGrew