So I finally got around to watch that Xmas-film from last year, you know, the one about Santa’s evil twin brother Krampus. Yeah, that one, Krampus. And boy oh boy, was it a ride of a lifetime. Was it a good ride? Not so much….
The movie Krampus is about just that, Krampus. Those of you who’ve never heard of Krampus, look him up, he’s a legend living right next door to Santa. Anyway, Max is having a horrible time this Christmas and instead of sending his annual letter to Santa, he silently wishes that his family goes away. And what’ya know, his wish comes true as Krampus and his minions starts terrorizing the neighborhood. Sounds just corny enough that you could make a traditional holiday-themed story à la Home Alone, or interesting enough to make a decent horror-themed holiday film à la Gremlins, but Krampus fails at both attempts. Krampus has with him a legion of minions to do his dirty work, with everything from Ginger bread men to dark and distorted elfs to a homicidal Jack-in-the-box that bares a striking resemblance to It’s Pennywise, which in turn leads to movie to be all over the place. Sometimes you want to laugh but something “scary” happens, or the movie tries to scare you but it’s impossible to be scared by a ginger bread man, and so on, which gives the movie a sense of ‘I don’t know what the hell I wanna be’ and every attempt it makes at placing itself in a category falls short. Is it a scary movie or a family film? Honestly, it’s a failed attempt at both accounts.
As for the cast, they are all stereotypes you’ve seen a thousand times before. You have the workaholic father (Adam Scott), the uptight mother (Toni Collette), the angsty teen (Stefania LaVie Owen) and the gun toting “true blood American” that everyone in the world loves (David Koechner) and a whole bunch more. They all did a fine job with their characters, but none of them needed to go the extra mile because the characters themselves are stale and boring and even if the movie tries to establish a connection to them, we the audience missed the off-ramp and when they die, we don’t care.
The visuals, however, seemed great. From a howling blizzard to the CG cookie men to the Jack-in-the-box, nothing really looked bad…. right up until you get your first close-up view of Krampus himself. A solid mask of a withered man with a wide open mouth in a dark redish hood with horns is not what I would call scary. From a far, sure, but up close? Nope, not even a little bit.
No, this is not something I’d watch again anytime soon. Michael Dougherty impressed me as a director with 2007’s Trick ‘r Treat but this one falls short on almost every account, so there will be no stamp of approval this day, so I’m just gonna go ahead and call this one a flop.
Next up is….. I don’t know, I have to check what’s showing this weekend, but stay tuned for more goody reading soon enough.