Tag Archives: scary movie

#Krampus – A Tango’s Thoughts review

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….

Krampus Banner

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.
Krampus and Max
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.

Bye.

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Oculus – a quick review


Oculus, written by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard and based off of a short-screenplay by Mike Flanagan and Jeff Seidman and directed by Mike Flanagan, the man behind the film Ghosts of Hamilton Street… and well, there’s no doubt about that they tried, I give’em that, but did they succeed?

Oculus banner

First out, the story. A parent couple (Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff) and their two children, a daughter and a son, moves in to a new house, where the dad decorates his office with a gigantic antique mirror, which it turns out…. is haunted. The children barely survives the happenings, with the son being blamed for their parents murder and sent to a psychiatric institution.

A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.”

That’s what IMDB says about the story, and that is kind of what the movie is about, but what they don’t tell you, is that a bit in to the first act, it looks more and more like she is insane herself, rather than the brother. With her being obsessed by the mirror and what it supposedly have done, she digs up information about its history and other supposed victims, including dogs, in order to vindicate her brother and destroy the mirror once and for all, just like they promised when they were kids.

The story is pretty good, with enough elements to deliver at least a decent horror film, but alas, that’s all it is….. decent. It’s far from the worst scary movie I’ve seen but it’s also far from the best. They utilize a kind of flashback-tool to drive the story forward, but at a point they overuse it and it makes the essence of the flashbacks more confusing than contributing, which I found to be a setback for the film. The scoring of the film, however, was brilliant, with ominous sounds and tunes almost throughout the film, which is a big ‘Must’ in a scary movie. Kudos to the filmmakers for that.

Oculus creepy scenes
Sure, the film had a few creepy scenes that could’ve made me shiver and shake  (had I not been desensitized over the years), but whenever you think something brilliant will happen, BAM!, a jump scare, and it turns out that the film relies more and more on just that, making it a jump scare-bonanza…. and you all know how I feel about jump scares…..

Brenton Twaithes Karen Gillan OculusBrenton Twaithes and Karen Gillan (who playes the main characters Tim and Kaylie as adults), have a mere decent chemistry on screen and they delivered no more believable performances than Jennifer Aniston in Leprechaun, but it is a scary movie and I’m having a really hard time remembering a scary film with great performances in it, so that’s just nitpicking from my part. They both show promise for future films, but they both are young still and there’s been a lot of people delivering poor performances at the beginning of their careers, so I think they both’ll be around for a while…

All in all, it was an okay visit to the theater, but it wouldn’t have mattered to me at all, if I had waited for the DVD-release. But hey, there was one thing about it that I’ll always remember….. and that is when my girlfriend was scared (yeah, by one of those blasted jump scares) and sends her bag of candy in the air, sending the candy all over the place…. hahaha, classic!!

Now, it’s time for me to drink a nice cup of coffe and do something else, but I’ll be back again soon with more goodies. What’ll it be? Maybe another installment of the ‘What If’-series? Or maybe a videogame fantasy-cast? You’ll just have to wait and find out, but until then….