6 December 2015 | TheCinematicMind
'Twas the night Krampus entered my life and surprised me tonight!
The Cinematic Mind reviews Krampus (Dougherty, USA, 2015) ****/*****
A few days before Christmas, we meet a dysfunctional family who are not getting on very well. A young boy (Emjay Anthony) loses the hope and spirit of Christmas because the holidays aren't the same as they used to be with his family and proceeds to destroys a letter he wrote to Santa Claus triggering the release of a massive blizzard and the summoning of the titular Christmas folklore demon who strikes against the family and it isn't alone.
From 2007's Trick 'r Treat director and screenwriter Michael Dougherty, this is the second holiday themed horror film he has done. This sub- genre is known as the X-MAS Horror! For me, they are very mixed-bag for me! My favourite would easily be Black Christmas (1974) in my life as one of cinema's most underrated slashers of the 1970's with one of the most bone chilling endings in a horror film and Gremlins, enough said. Others include The Nightmare Before Christmas, Christmas Evil and Silent Night Deadly Night (I consider it a little overrated). The potential is huge but also can be a task to handle. However, this is movie besides Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale are the greatest modern X-MAS horror films of recent times considering I was making fun of the title alone and thought it would be TV movie quality. The results altered once the film began.
The setup is a brilliant throwback to the stereotypical mean-spirited family from Christmas Vacation and Home Alone and a great satire on consumerism taking over the holidays with a riot at a Shopping Mall with "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" by Bing Crosby in the background. Ahh! The lost of being vintage and nostalgic. I call glorious irony.
The acting is surprisingly strong. Adam Scott as the classic overworking father, Toni Collette as the anguish wife and David Koechner as the overbearing mean spirited uncle who provide great conflict in a dysfunctional nightmare at each other. Even the child performances not once cringe me at all! Once the characters start to realise what the following events are taking place and coming to learn lessons about the actual meaning of Christmas, I quote I dropped in awe. A celebration gift to all the memorable horror films and Christmas horror films of the 80's/90's.
From Gremlins, The Evil Dead to Poltergeist, Nightmare Before Christmas and one of my favourite scenes, a homage to Rankin/Bass with a back-story of Krampus presented in animation. The comedy is hilariously quotable. Mainly from the cynical drunk great aunt played by Conchata Ferrell. However, it never ruins the thrills of the suspense and creativity of the creatures the film thrown at us. For my universal acclaim, the production design, the music score by composer Douglas Pipes and the practical effects of Krampus and the minions brings to life the dark corners of Christmas in a way I wanted to experience. From the vintage jingles to the chilling suspense pieces. This is an example of me wanting to check out the art of Krampus and resulting in myself in collapsing all over the designs. They took the budget of $15 million and the crew carry out this stimulating picture given on what they had on their shoulders.
However, why do I did prefer Trick 'r Treat still more? Simple! The execution wasn't fully there. Krampus felt underused at times! When Krampus is in it, my mind is blown away in excitement, I wanted to discover the hellish nightmare of Krampus. There might had been a little too much of the minion/toys more than Krampus. There needed to be more set pieces with the character without this disjointed middle. Also, the ending nearly irritated me as it nearly involved one of my most hated cliques in horror history until the rest of the ending happened, it at least never destroyed the ending with the message of the film and what it turns out to be. I wanted a little more than that because I felt it could had a longer runtime. It breathe a sequel that could happen.
Still, I'll consider this during a time where most expensive Horror films are underwhelming unintentional comedies with ugly third rate CGI, Dougherty and his crew decided to continue the practical dream to us Horror fans and brought us a dark and fun early Christmas gift! In conclusion, 'Twas the night Krampus entered my life and surprised me tonight! Merry Christmas and let's hope the force would awake and rise. Tell me what you think of my review.