Hot Take: Whomever decided to serve Krampus this holiday will not be invited to my next holiday party. It’s a Christmas horror comedy that doesn’t have much Christmas spirit, isn’t very scary and rarely makes you laugh.
Krampus might be a box office success thanks to the perfect storm of a serious lack of holiday offerings and a release date far enough away from the end of The Hunger Games in which no other major release found it’s way to the box office. Don’t be fooled if Krampus strikes box office gold because it’s really a lump of coal in your holiday viewing stocking.
It’s not to say Krampus isn’t a novel concept. While the legend of Krampus has been around for centuries, it is a widely unfamiliar tale which lends itself to the big screen rather well. Somewhere the novelty wears off in the translation as most of the characters are too annoying to care about and some are even bad rip-offs. (Sorry, David Koechner. The annoying brother-in-law was already done by Randy Quaid and your Howard is no Eddie.)
There are a few memorable scenes providing a glimpse of the possibility of a solid Christmas horror flick but the film misfires frequently. The most difficult thing about watching Krampus is you just don’t know who or what to root for. At some point, you just start rooting for it to end. Fortunately, the end is one of the film’s few saving graces but by the time the movie reaches it’s climax, you might no longer be in the viewing spirit to care.
“Spoiler Free” Pros
- Krampus’ Helpers
Krampus isn’t the only one delivering Christmas terror. There’s plenty of other demonically possessed Christmas icons around to spread the “bah humbug!” vibe.
- Somehow the Cast Seems Inspired
Even though the source material seems uninspired and derivative, the cast of Krampus doesn’t phone in their performances which, at least, raises the bar a little bit for the movie. It doesn’t save it but it does salvage a little.
“Spoiler Free” Cons
Tell me if you’ve seen this before: An annoying young kid filled with Christmas spirit hates spending time with his extended family and wishes it could be the way it used to be. There’s jokes about visiting relatives relieving themselves in bed, there’s conflict at the dinner table and there’s even a desire from the annoying kid to make his family disappear. If you guessed Home Alone, you’d be right… if you said Krampus, you’d be right, too!
I can’t remember the last time I went to a horror movie and wasn’t scared once. I’m not a horror movie person, I’m easily scared and this didn’t scare me. Not once.
This is only referring to the opening sequence which features holiday shoppers ripping apart a store on what appears to be Black Friday (even though the movie takes place a few days before Christmas). Why is there a guy on a ladder as the store is opening? Humor works best when it’s laced with truth and there’s no way someone is on a ladder a few seconds before a store opening on Black Friday. Not happening.