Last Saturday night, Krampusnacht, I went to see the new horror comedy "Krampus" by Michael Dougherty of Trick r Treat fame, based on the infamous Alpine legend of a demonic beast that punishes naughty children every Christmas. What follows is my informal review:
First off, that was a blast! It may not have been the scariest horror film I've seen recently, but it was certainly one of the most fun. Everything from the cinematography to the art direction (including the sick snowmen/scarecrows designed by Pumpkinrot) to the acting and, of course, the fearsome assortment of killer toys and Christmas decor that accompany Krampus on his mission were spot-on. (Also, that Jack-in-the-Box in the attic... HOLY FUCK that was creepy!) Dougherty's directorial skills have definitely improved since "Trick r Treat", and Krampus shines as an excellent companion piece to it. I was a bit worried when I saw the rating was PG-13 that it was going to have been watered down by the studio, but I was happy to learn I was wrong. This was a no holds barred smack down of the holiday, one of the best since "Gremlins". Speaking of which, just as "Trick r Treat" payed homage to previous Halloween-themed films, so does Krampus pay homage to classic Xmas movies, including "Christmas Vacation", "Gremlins", the Charlie Brown special, and even (spoiler alert) "A Christmas Carol". And of corpse, there was the Krampus beast himself. I was surprised at the direction in which they took the design of the Christmas Devil, but surprised in a good way. It changed it up from the more traditional design into the realm of a true "Anti-Claus" (they do refer to him as 'The Shadow of St. Nicholas' after all...) Over all, this movie was terrific fun, and completely worth seeing in the theaters.
Damian's verdict: Five out of Five Horned Skulls