Going into horror films I am always hesitant. The genre has not sparkled of late. Meaning there has been tons of crap and precious little quality. It is a tricky genre which is hard to do well. Balancing act between gore, blood, violence, danger, spookiness, and scary. Hard to keep all those plates spinning in the air. To avoid some of such difficulty director and co-writer Michael Dougherty (Trick r’ Treat) has gone in direction of farce. He pokes fun at the usual ways of the horror genre. Plus he fills his cast with talented actors to surround his younger cast members. While the film is not a complete success with some problems and weak moments there is enough to make it an enjoyable watch.
Max (Emjay Anthony – The Jungle Book – 2016, Insurgent) is looking forward to a fun family Christmas season. The lead up to the holidays ends up disappointing the youngster and he becomes disillusioned with the entire season. Even going so far as wishing it away.
This lack of holiday spirit does not fall on deaf ears. At least, it falls on those the family could have never expected. The fact that Max has turned his back on Christmas has resulted in releasing of Krampus. This creature is an old evil force whose raison d’ tre is to wreak some retribution on non-believers.
As Max’s relatives begin arriving to stay with his family for the holidays a huge storm hits the area causing everyone to be housebound and without power. It is a perfect situation for the Krampus and his evil aides to attack Tom (Adam Scott – from television’s Parks and Recreation) and Sarah (Toni Collette – The Sixth Sense, Little Miss Sunshine) along with the rest of the family. Now the fractious family finds itself having to fight for one another. Especially after Max’s sister Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen – The Lovely Bones) has gone missing and Uncle Howard (David Koechner – Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Final Destination 5) is seriously injured.
Watching Krampus will bring some of you back to some films of the 80s like Gremlins, etc. It features the same kind of nasty laughs as that film did. Same kind of feeling. That mixed with the overconsumerism of modern day Christmas leads to some funny situational moments. Typical comedy styles family moments lead to something a little darker yet still filled with laughs.
For you parents out there this is a good introductory horror film for younger ones who are interested in the genre. Not too scary, not too much violence, not tons of blood, little foul language, and stuff for them to laugh at.
-Krampus Comes Alive!
-Behind the Scenes at WETA Workshop: Krampus
-Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Michael Dougherty and Co-Writers Todd Casey & Zach Shields