Krampus SPOILER-FREE Review
Ever since my friend said to me he wanted to go see that "Krumpus" movie, I have been interested in Krampus. I never expected it to be anything much. I was hoping for a half-way decent horror comedy, or just a stupid fun movie. I wasn't expecting Oscar worthy performances. I wasn't expecting a compelling plot. So my expectations were low enough, but still high in one department: entertainment. I wanted this film to be entertaining, and that was my one expectation. So I went into Krampus expecting it to be stupid and dumb, but crossing my fingers hoping it wouldn't be boring. After seeing the film, it is stupid. It is dumb. Both in bad ways. But it is not boring.
Krampus focuses on Max (Emjay Anthony), a kid trying to survive his extended family visiting for Christmas. As egos and personalities clash and battle, Max belief in Santa is shattered and thus, he tears apart his letter and throws it into the wind. Unbeknownst to anyone in the family, this conjures a much darker and evil spirit than Saint Nicholas. It brings the wrath of Krampus upon them.
I have to say, Krampus started off really well. It had a really funny Black Friday montage in the beginning, and did a great job introducing the characters. Though they all were cliched and stereotypes, Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner all did very good jobs in their roles. The introduction of the extended family and the set up to Krampus was all done excellently. I was sitting there, entertained and laughing, thinking to myself "This could end up being a really good movie!" Before I go into the bad, and there's a lot of bad, I'll continue to comment on the good. I thought it was well shot. There were many noticeable good camera angles and cinematography, and that's always something I look for in films. In a movie like this, those things can be lost so I was glad to see it there. I also really liked that they used mostly practical effects. Instead of using CGI to bring Krampus to life, they used make-up and costumes, and it worked in making everything in the movie look better.
However, there are a lot of problems with this movie. It did start off good, yes, but over the course of the film is just continuously degrades into a piece of sh*t. It's about halfway through the film that the legitimate horror turns to absolute absurdity. For another horror comedy that may work but for this movie it just fell completely flat. It was to the point where I had no idea what the f*ck I was watching anymore. There are these gingerbread characters that start to do some pretty weird sh*t, and let me say, these characters should have been cut from the movie. They were over-the-top cartoonish and just plains stupid. There was nothing about them that added to the horror; they only added to the absurdity.
Krampus's horror was at its best when you didn't see what was happening. When someone would disappear and you would hear screams and noises and see shadows, but you would never exactly see what would happen. That created a creepy and scary atmosphere. As soon as you saw what was going on, then it took a really bad turn. I also didn't care for many of the creature designs. The clown pictured above was really scary looking, and the bear was creepy too, but everything else just looked stupid. And the reveal of what Krampus' face looks like was a big disappointment. They tease it throughout the film, but once you finally see it-- it could have been designed better. The ending of the movie also makes zero logical sense. I was sitting in my seat saying out loud "Wait, what?", and several others in the theater made similar remarks.
Overall, Krampus is not a good movie. It started out with a lot of promise, but then degrades into bad horror, poor comedy and just complete absurdity. Though the characters were predictable, cliched and stereotypes, the performances were all good. The practical effects in the film are commendable, but the designs of most of the creatures were poor in my opinion. By the second half of the film, the reserved and withholding horror approach is lost, and everything goes downhill from there. In the end, with revisions, this could have been a genuinely horrifying and also funny holiday movie, but instead it loses itself in just being a stupid movie.
What do you think? Did you see Krampus? Did you like it? Leave your (spoiler-free) thoughts in the comments section below.
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