This thrilling romp takes its audience on a horror filled ride with the holiday spirit.
What happens when the true spirit of Christmas is forgotten and all hope is lost?
The shadow of Saint Nicholas, Krampus, and his demonic helpers come to punish those who dare succumb to the darkness.
It is so rare in this day and age of over used computer generated images to see a film with mostly practical effects come to the forefront. The puppets and monster suits all give the film added immersion and help to make suspensful scenes even more tense.
However frightening the visual effects may be, this film does not rely on gore or many of the usual exploitation tropes that are common in this genre. Instead it uses sharp writing and genuine suspense with a healthy dose of satire interwoven throughout. The entire cast gives great weight to each character and performance. When it comes to the cast, the child actors do miss a beat here and there but this in no way deters from the overall quality of the piece.
An especially haunting scene comes in act two when the mythology of the piece is explained in the style of stop motion animation. This segment could have stood on its own as a short film and serves as the perfect cautionary fairy tale.
The director Michael Dougherty has crafted a spine tingling mashup of genre films such as Home Alone, Evil Dead, and Gremlins. Not many films can scare, thrill, delight, and make an audience laugh all while keeping a consistent tone but Krampus pulls it off with clever writing, skilled direction, and a cast who believe in the material.
The film is paced almost perfectly with only a couple sections feeling a tad rushed and it seemed like perhaps there were some cut scenes that might be found on a special edition home video release.
If you are in the market for an oldschool creature feature with a clever premise and holiday twist then Krampus is the movie you have been waiting for.