Krampus – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 65% (Critics) / 61% (Audience)
Directed By: Michael Dougherty
Written By: Michael Dougherty, Todd Casey and Zach Shields
Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Emjay Anthony and Conchata Ferrell
Studio: Universal Pictures
Synopsis: When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive. – (Source)


The Good:
This movie boasts a really good cast, one I would not hesitate to say is a bit “too good” for this type of B-movie. David Koechner and veteran character actress Conchata Ferrell were stand-outs.
I also give the folks behind KRAMPUS credit for attempting to make a film in the vein of Joe Dante’s GREMLINS where the point isn’t to full-blown horror but a mix of dark fantasy/comedy. We don’t see that subgenre being attempted as much anymore which is a shame.
KRAMPUS also provides a really jarring and satisfyingly bleak ending that I totally enjoyed.

The Bad:
The problem with KRAMPUS though is that it doesn’t have nearly the wit or charm of a GREMLINS so a lot of this movie just comes across as hollow and tepid.
I also was a bit disappointed by the effects in this film, both the digital ones and the practical. Krampus himself was especially bad…the guy looked like he had a massive stroke while masturbating and he was stuck in a perpetual state of O-face.

The Ugly:
Krampus in the movie KRAMPUS pales in comparison to what I consider to be the absolute greatest depiction of the character in the history of anything:

Darn that Sheila.

Final Verdict: A valiant attempt at a family friendly dark fantasy that lacks both teeth and sufficient levels of charm to really be successful. But a stellar cast and really surprising but satisfying ending does help to make KRAMPUS a bit better than it would have been otherwise.

Grade: C+

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