Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars
Bottom Line: Tries really hard to be funny and scary. Fails at both.
“Krampus” starts out decently with the whole “dysfunctional extended family getting together for Christmas” story. It then does a pretty good job of building up the tension with scary snowmen and odd goings on right up until Krampus appears for the first time. Then it’s all downhill from there. This is disappointing on many levels, but what’s most disappointing is this is a great cast of C-list actors, probably the best ensemble of C-list actors ever, and their talents are wasted.
The movie starts to go off the rails when the cliche German grandma tells the story of Krampus visiting her home town as a child. This can be a great storytelling arc as the grandma’s dire warnings of what’s to come are ignored or laughed at. Which they are. But the grandma’s story has almost no correlation to the events that happen to the family in the movie except for the fact that Krampus is involved. The movie devolves into a grotesquerie of mindless comic monsters mixed in with vile, disgusting worm-creatures and bird-things. The two creature types don’t mix together at all. In fact, the only really effective monster in the movie is Krampus himself and he is oddly wasted by being portrayed mostly with foot stompings and glarings.
I will give props to the movie for a pretty good ending. There can be much discussion on what it means and it will make you think if there were clues that might lead you to rethink all you’ve seen before. Well, except for one glaring fault. The grandma again.
I had hopes for a good anti-Christmas Christmas movie and those hopes were dashed. The Krampus tale is kind of awesome and deserves a good dark comedy/horror story. This is not that story. Save your money.