I went into Krampus with low expectations. They were wildly exceeded (in a good way).
Starring Toni Colette and Adam Scott, this Christmas horror flick is set in an upscale, any-America neighborhood of Christmas stress and squabbling families. But the screenwriters used a deft touch — all the characters have sympathetic sides to them, which make their Krampus-fate all the more horrifying.
The movie has an eighties horror vibe, more reminiscent of films like Gremlins than the current popular batch of torture-porn and full-out creeps. But while it contains elements of several eighties films, they don’t feel ripped off. And the effects are seamless, never detracting from the story, which does full justice to the Krampus legend. One scene with a hoard of Krampus “elves” looked like it could have come directly from a Bavarian Krampus parade.
Krampus, should you be unfamiliar with him, is an unremittingly bad character. The antithesis of Santa Claus, he drags bad children to hell, after delivering a vicious beating with a stick. There are plenty of variants on the Krampus legend throughout Europe, from Iceland’s Gryla the Christmas Ogress to the Hungarian Friuli.
All in all, Krampus is a fun, well-done Christmas flick – not sure it’s for the littlest members of the family, but older kids might enjoy it.