I can safely say that Krampus is two hours of my life that I can unfortunately never get back. Don’t get me wrong, I love my share of horror/comedy/pretty-bad-if-you-stop-and-think-about-it films, but Krampus doesn’t even manage the few redeeming qualities of Shaun of the Dead.
What annoys me the most, is that this film could have been alright. The cast did their parts pretty well, especially Max (Emjay Anthony), but when the script is as poor as this, there isn’t much they can do.
In Germanic folklore, Krampus is a pretty scary character, the polar opposite of Father Christmas, who, instead of bringing gifts, comes to punish the naughty children. In some versions of the story, he even takes them to Hell which isn’t surprising as it’s believed his origins lie in a pagan supernatural being that’s likened to the Christian devil. He even has cloven hooves and goat horns. So he could have been pretty creepy, but here, he just ended up looking like a cross between the Grinch and Father Christmas – in short, crap and not even mockingly scary.
"when the script is as poor as this, there isn’t much the cast can do"
The film is actually fairly funny to start off with – who among us doesn’t understand the stresses that Christmas can bring; drunken aunts, annoying cousins, the list goes on. But then, despite the promise, the film just fell flat on its face and it was 90 minutes of someone trying too hard to be funny. The possessed doll monster was slightly creepy, but the rest of the ‘monsters’ were just plain stupid instead of being a satire on horror films.
There were a few highlights in the film, however, Adam Scott in his Christmas jumper and hating life being one, and Conchata Ferrell and her occasionally funny one-liners. There’s also a great flashback scene; probably my favourite bit.
For me, this film was a major disappointment, with an even worse storyline/ending than The Cabin in the Woods.
More like this: You're Next (2011)