Monday, December 7, 2015

Krampus - Review


   It may be a safe bet to assume no one, or perhaps a vast majority, had heard of the legend of Krampus. Those select few people who are up on their German tales, or those that are just avid viewers of FXX’s The League, knew that the legend was ripe for a cinematic story. In a combination of holidays, Krampus evokes an 80s horror vibe through it’s creepy creatures, while maintaining it’s humorous charm.
   The holidays can be stressful for anyone, especially when your less than welcome family comes to visit. But the Engel family tries their best to make the best of Christmas, especially Max (Emjay Anthony). When things get out of hand, Max gives up Christmas hope and thus summons the devilish shadow of St. Nicholas, Krampus. As he terrifies the home, Max’s father, Tom (Adam Scott), mother, Sarah (Toni Collette), and sister, Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen), must all band together to protect each other from the evil spirit of Christmas.
   I’ve seen quite a few comparisons to a modern Gremlins, and as I thought about it more it seemed to fit quite well. Now by no means is Krampus as good as the classic horror, but the tone and level of fun are still there. One particular part involving Krampus’ minions certainly feels very Gremlin-y.
   First of all the title character is easily the highlight. He utters no words and if not even given a ton of screen time, but you’ll find that every time he isn’t on screen you’ll just be waiting for the scene where he is.  And when he is present, boy is he creepy. The practical effects that are used combined with the right shots make the devilish creature terrifying at times.
   The characters are not too essential to the story.  They are needed, but the centerpiece is Krampus himself and these people just happen to be who he is terrorizing. Nevertheless, they do feel like a family and real in many ways. Adam Scott and David Koechner, as the somewhat tamer cousin Edddy type Howard, have pretty good chemistry especially as their relationship evolves. Emjay Anthony is great in his own right with his continued quest to just make Christmas the way it was before, and his relationship with Omi (Krista Stadler) is sweet.

   Overall Krampus is a huge surprise. In a time of award worthy films, it delivers just a fun time at the theater. It didn’t have to be spectacular and yet it turned out to be a good little semi-horror movie to frighten the Christmas spirit into anyone. The performances are nothing shocking or too note-worthy, but Krampus and his minions are just the right amount of scary to make this worth a watch. (6.5/10)



So what did you think of Krampus? Have you seen it, and what's your favorite Christmas movie? Comment below and let me know and as always remember share and to return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews