Director: Michael Dougherty
Writers: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, and Zach Shields
Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler, Lolo Owen, Queenie Samuel, Maverick Flack, and Sage Hunefeld
Krampus from 2015 takes the old folklore tale and turns it into an almost slasher comedy horror film. Max (Emjay Anthony) just wants his family to celebrate Christmas the way they used to. He writes a letter to Santa, wishing that everyone is simply happy, but after being mocked by his cousins, he rips up the letter and throws it out the window, and the next morning a snowstorm seems to be hiding something.
For the first fifteen or so minutes of the film you’d have no idea this was a horror. It feels like a typical family Christmas film with family arriving and causing friction, cousins not getting along, until there’s a big argument. After is lulls you into a false sense of security, it then almost instantly, the tone shifts from family friendly comedy, to a dark and twisted horror.
The creature designs are great and feel like something that would feel right at home in a film from Guillermo Del Toro. They’re creepy and imaginative, especially Krampus himself and the giant Jack in the box with the predator style mouth. They all look unique and are instantly memorable. It’s one of the absolute highlights of the film.
While the creature designs may be great, the horror is very lacking. It’s not scary in the slightest, and while it’s billed as a comedy horror, it isn’t that funny once it really gets going. It’s great, right up to the point where all the creatures attack and slowly take the family one by one, and then it feels like it’s just running through the plot because it must. There are still good moments, like the gingerbread men attacking, but it does start to feel very long when it isn’t.
Krampus is a fine film. It’s really nothing special, although the creature designs can’t get enough credit. It’s not scary, not that funny, and largely forgettable.