Movie Review: Krampus (2015)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2015 holiday horror film starring Emjay Anthony and Adam Scott.

Synopsis: After having the worst Christmas ever, a young boy gives up on the holiday and, in doing so, summons Krampus, a demon that is determined to punish the entire town for losing its holiday spirit. As their community freezes around them, the boy and his family must find a way to wait out the creature and its minions.


Normally, I would hold off watching a movie like this until it was closer to the holiday season. But, after a series of disappointing horror movies, I decided to move it to the top of my Netflix list. Unfortunately, while the film had promise, I honestly wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I would be.

To be fair, this movie did start out OK. Max (Anthony) and his extended family ended up reminding me a lot of the family on National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, only slightly more extreme. And, because of that, I had hoped this horror/comedy film would live up to its potential. Sadly, while it started out OK, it fizzled out relatively quick.

I think the biggest reason I wasn't a fan of this movie is it took way too long for anything to happen. The movie isn't overly long (only about 98 minutes) and had to squeeze a lot into that short run time. Yet, it dragged out the early scenes involving the blizzard and Krampus (Luke Hawker) itself really doesn't make an appearance until the very end.

In addition, the movie never fully capitalizes on Max's family. As I said, there was potential there, mostly because of the way none of them got along. Yet, by the midpoint of the movie, they were becoming one big happy family and their little quirks never fully came into play as much as they could have.

I'm also, in all honesty, confused by the character, Omi (Stadler). She starts out speaking German, then suddenly can speak English just long enough to tell the story of Krampus before going back to speaking German again? And why is it her grandson seems understand her better than her son, Tom (Scott), and serves as the primary translator?

One thing I will take a moment to give the movie credit for were the variety of minions Krampus used to get to the family, ranging from a living gingerbread man to a really creepy angel doll. But, again, the movie really never fully capitalizes on this because those minions are given limited screen time and we never learn enough about the Krampus legend to know anything about their backstory. Were they lost souls he enslaved? Did he just bring toys to life? It's just one of the many ways this film dropped the ball.

Final Opinion

Other than the first few minutes and the scenes involving the creepy minions, the movie never really reached a point where it lived up to my expectations. It wasn't the worst movie I've seen, but I'm glad I didn't waste my money on this one when it was at the theater.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 03/24/2017, StevenHelmer
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