Krampus Review- Be Careful What You Wish For:
I will be the first to admit that I was a bit skeptical of how Krampus would turn out. Horror and comedy are an unlikely mix, at least on purpose that is (I usually find a lot of so-called horror movies comedic), so Krampus proudly announcing itself as a “horror-comedy for the season” piqued my interest. I went in with very low expectations, and though a few reviews had said that it was great, I’m typically not one to base my expectations on that. I came out of the theatre extremely happy with what I had just witnessed. It was everything I wanted with an added bit of charm of the holiday season mixed with creepiness of an old bedtime story. The cast was engaging, the sequences had me laughing and covering my eyes (there’s a specific “monster” that really got me) at the same time, and the story resolved in the perfect way! Overall there was not much about it that I disliked and I can definitely see myself watching it as an annual Christmas movie. For spoilers and opinions continue below!
Krampus started on such a statement I was hooked from the beginning. The social commentary on what Christmas has become was poignant and frustrating because of how true it is. I’ve never been a big Black Friday person, and luckily the city I live in hasn’t ever had any issues with people maiming each other over the sales, but seeing the horror on the big screen made me shudder. They introduce the family by showing their youngest son, Max, attacking a kid at a Christmas pageant because he was going to ruin the holidays for the younger kids. This moment establishes Max’s role during the entire film, the hopeful one. We learn a bit about each of the family members and learn that they’re all attempting in a small way to keep Christmas alive, but their efforts keep falling flat. The two who are really trying to keep the spirit alive are Omi, the loving German grandmother, and Max, Omi even encourages Max to continue to write Christmas letters to Santa; even though he knows the guy in red doesn’t exist he still believes in the Christmas spirit enough to write to him telling him what he wishes for this year.
The relatives arrive and this is when the chaos ensues. It’s a typical red vs blue situation where both sides are played out a little extremely, but it adds to the whole feel of the movie. There is a lot of bickering but I can imagine that this part relates to a lot of people watching the movie and of course without the bickering there would not be a reason for Krampus to arrive! Things get dark very quickly, seeing as the first death happen practically right out of the gate, but after the setup it’s a welcome change of pace. Honestly, most people have found the beginning part “dragged out” but I genuinely enjoyed it The beginning allowed the audience to get to know the family and there was actually quite a bit of character development happening; from Omi and Max’s relationship to Howard learning to respect Tom the family went from bickering to actually saving each others lives….er postponing their deaths. There are a lot of comedic breaks throughout Krampus and it makes the movie feel relatable; I don’t know about you, but I tend to crack jokes when I’m in a scary or nerve wracking situation (i.e haunted houses). The jokes were pretty damn hilarious too, and the best part was that the characters said what was on the audience’s mind! Of course, with powerhouse actors and actresses (Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner to name a few) they made this horror comedy a reality that a lot of people underestimated.
Krampus did an excellent job at giving you those suspenseful and frightening moments. There were many times I shuddered at something happening on screen, and I’m decently hard to scare. I enjoyed the tension that the writers established before really letting the characters know what was going on. It was a wonderfully ironic, especially when you wish the characters would stop thinking it was safe to go outside! “No don’t do that you idiot you’ll die!” went through my mind a few times. The creatures they face throughout the movie were cringe-worthy! That awful angel thing, the creepy teddy bear, and let’s not forget that horrid clown thing, everything made me cringe, and the best part about it was how the characters reacted to them! The Krampus character was exactly what I was hoping for too! The movie teased the beast a few times, only showing its silhouette here and there and then finally revealing the horrible creature during the standoff between it and Omi. After that you saw the Krampus in all it’s glory for a few more scenes until the movie ended on the perfect note! I really loved the ending, I was almost really disappointed that everything turned out peachy keen, but of course the tables quickly turned when Max opened that final Christmas gift!
Overall, I’d recommend this movie to anyone who loves a feel good horror movie. Yes, I’m being serious. I genuinely felt good after watching it. Maybe it was the sense of finality in the fact that Max got his original wish, or maybe it was the fact that I had a lot of questions at the end that I knew would never be answered. It sounds weird, but I feel as though the writers want you to wonder what happens next and that they want you to question what goes on in the snow globe world the family has found themselves in. I want them to explore the world more, but actually I think it would be better if they just leave Krampus where he belongs! Remember, never stop believing!
What did you think of Krampus?! Let us know in the comments below!
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