Macabre...ish Horror Review: Krampus

 

 

Krampus, 2015/ 1 hr 38 min

 

The Engels’ Christmas is as dysfunctional as ever and no one is enjoying it. Max who still believes in Santa, writes a letter, which he shares with the family and he’s mocked for it and announces that he hates Christmas and his family. So not only does he not send his letter, he rips it up and throws it out the window and the pieces blow away and summon something other than Santa. Turns out the loss of the Christmas spirit calls to a Christmas nightmare.

 

Whatever it is walks on it’s hind legs and it’s feet are hooves, it’s huge, fast, leaps from roof to roof and after it takes two of the kids and attacks one of the Dads, the grandmother, Omi, tells a story of her childhood. When she and the community lost the Christmas spirit because of War. And the demonic spirit known as Krampus, he dragged everyone to Hell and she believes she was left alive as a cautionary tale.

 

As expected, they don’t believe her and she warns them to keep the fire hot. The family arms themselves and think of a plan, all while Krampus tries to get inside and as a mysterious bag of gifts that were left on the porch, wreaks havoc and ornaments comes to life and try to kill them all.

 

Aunt Dorothy who dislikes kids and teaches them how to make alcoholic Christmas cheer is a dynamo with a shotgun as she blasts away deadly teddy bears and killer lawn ornaments.

 

The family plans to flee on a plow but Omi stays behind to by them some time.

 

The family all wake, relieved, from this nightmare but it’s not quite the nightmare they think and it’s not quite as over either.

 

This is like a cross between Home Alone/Gremlins and Labyrinth with a little Shrek gingerbread man magic thrown in for good measure. Everything we love about Christmas is either used as a weapon or turned into a monster and I love it! They manage to meld the Christmas vibe and horror magic beautifully. And they played it straight, instead of a spoof of a comedy horror Christmas story. It is graphic and somewhat gory. Great effects plus a great cast, Toni Collette, Conchata Ferrell and David Koechner, just to name a few.