Krampus
Oh, the holidays are cheerful. My own family gets together every single year to celebrate Christmas, cheer with each other, and eat and drink until we are fat and happy. And, at the end of the day, we exchange gifts, hugs, and laughter. It's a favorite time of year for myself, but I am completely aware that others find complete misery and dissatisfaction in the cold, wintry days due to dysfunctional relatives and interwoven ancestral arguments and the like. This exact hostile attitude and environment is where Michael Dougherty's "Krampus" takes off. 

In the comic book realm, Dougherty's name might appear familiar as he's handled "X2", the mid-00s version of Superman, and has most recently helmed "X-Men: Apocalypse". However, pertaining to this review more than those three films is his run in the horror film circuit. The cult anthology collection "Trick'r'Treat" was directed by him and became pretty successful. So, avoiding the cliche Halloween horror, Dougherty brought his filmmaking chops to the touchy Holiday Horror that homes in on the Christmas legend of Krampus. 

While the origin of Krampus himself isn't quite clear, most scholars believe the odd creature was imagined before Christian mythology. But, the basic premises follows that if you are not a well behaved child, Krampus might pay you a visit and drag you to the Underworld, eat you, or just kill you. Like most older tales, this was a gruesome one meant to frighten your kids into behaving. And I do think more of these tales need to make a comeback to keep kids in line. 

Personal notes about scaring the shit out of kids aside, the film "Krampus" follows the Christmas of a young boy named Max (Emjay Anthony) as he tries to keep the Holiday spirit alive within his family unit. However, after each attempt and being struck down by each of his relatives, he eventually gives up and rips up his letter to Santa. Tossing it out the window, the letter is sucked into the night sky in an odd fashion, and that's when his family starts to get attacked by Krampus and his helpers. 

The first thing that I would like to point out is how sad the intro really is. It focuses in on how the holidays turn into nothing more than fat Americans fighting for the most discounted gift they can possibly can. It's a reality that's absolutely disgusting. The other subject that makes you feel really sad for Max himself is how he's constantly struck down in the intro moments which leads to his own break down. Not his father, mother, nor cousins make Christmas all too pleasurable. The only one who attempts to help the poor boy out is his grandmother Omi (Krista Stadler), but that's to no avail. 

Once the power goes out and a blizzard strikes in, however, everyone starts getting grabbed. I think it was interesting how the film forced the family to come closer together as they faced a very dangerous, very powerful creature. Max's father Tom (Adam Scott) shows emotion towards his wife Sarah (Toni Collette), and even brings himself to enjoy the company of his backwards redneck brother-in-law Howard (David Koechner), while Sarah is able to make peace with her sister Linda (Allison Tolman) and Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell). As each of them go one by one, the family unit grows closer and closer. 

I would also like to compliment the prop designers and costume designers for their work on this film. The Elves and the Toys that helped Krampus were, for the most part, actual props and not all drowned in CGI. A little bit of realism gave the film that cheesy, B-movie horror vibe that I absolutely adored from the 70s and 80s which so rarely exist in mainstream horror titles anymore. Krampus himself was a hideous son of a bitch, and his whole costume, from the dangling furs to the chains, was impeccable. They were all designed wonderfully and the costumes turned out to be a lovely treat. 

Now, the bad point of the film comes mainly with the rushed ending and the uninspired taking of most of the family members. The film didn't really have death scenes within it; each member got taken away by Krampus (After all, this was rated PG-13), but most of the scenes where they are taken away is pretty boring. The only child that was taken away in an interesting fashion is Howie Jr., but I won't spoil that for you. And, yes, the ending felt rushed as the family pretty much makes a beeline for their one and only salvation, only to be dragged away in the snow. It was quite boring. 

What I will give the film is that when the toys - Krampus' "helpers" -attacked, the film got leagues more enjoyable and laughable. Watching three gingerbread cookies fire a nail gun at a grown man who's defending himself with a shotgun is more than enjoyable. And watching a vicious Teddy bear attack grown women with axes and another man with a pistol was hysterical. So, that action was fantastic to say the least. 

In all honesty, this isn't the best holiday horror film to go see, but it was a fun thrill ride and cheap journey through a family tearing itself apart only to be brought back together by an evil mythological creature. I'm actually hoping for a sequel for this film - even if its straight to DVD - as an even cheesier, gorier take on this film would make it all the better, and the hard R rating would attract more horror buffs. 
350
Brutal Resonance

Krampus

6.0
"Alright"
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Action
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Star actors: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler
Oh, the holidays are cheerful. My own family gets together every single year to celebrate Christmas, cheer with each other, and eat and drink until we are fat and happy. And, at the end of the day, we exchange gifts, hugs, and laughter. It's a favorite time of year for myself, but I am completely aware that others find complete misery and dissatisfaction in the cold, wintry days due to dysfunctional relatives and interwoven ancestral arguments and the like. This exact hostile attitude and environment is where Michael Dougherty's "Krampus" takes off. 

In the comic book realm, Dougherty's name might appear familiar as he's handled "X2", the mid-00s version of Superman, and has most recently helmed "X-Men: Apocalypse". However, pertaining to this review more than those three films is his run in the horror film circuit. The cult anthology collection "Trick'r'Treat" was directed by him and became pretty successful. So, avoiding the cliche Halloween horror, Dougherty brought his filmmaking chops to the touchy Holiday Horror that homes in on the Christmas legend of Krampus. 

While the origin of Krampus himself isn't quite clear, most scholars believe the odd creature was imagined before Christian mythology. But, the basic premises follows that if you are not a well behaved child, Krampus might pay you a visit and drag you to the Underworld, eat you, or just kill you. Like most older tales, this was a gruesome one meant to frighten your kids into behaving. And I do think more of these tales need to make a comeback to keep kids in line. 

Personal notes about scaring the shit out of kids aside, the film "Krampus" follows the Christmas of a young boy named Max (Emjay Anthony) as he tries to keep the Holiday spirit alive within his family unit. However, after each attempt and being struck down by each of his relatives, he eventually gives up and rips up his letter to Santa. Tossing it out the window, the letter is sucked into the night sky in an odd fashion, and that's when his family starts to get attacked by Krampus and his helpers. 

The first thing that I would like to point out is how sad the intro really is. It focuses in on how the holidays turn into nothing more than fat Americans fighting for the most discounted gift they can possibly can. It's a reality that's absolutely disgusting. The other subject that makes you feel really sad for Max himself is how he's constantly struck down in the intro moments which leads to his own break down. Not his father, mother, nor cousins make Christmas all too pleasurable. The only one who attempts to help the poor boy out is his grandmother Omi (Krista Stadler), but that's to no avail. 

Once the power goes out and a blizzard strikes in, however, everyone starts getting grabbed. I think it was interesting how the film forced the family to come closer together as they faced a very dangerous, very powerful creature. Max's father Tom (Adam Scott) shows emotion towards his wife Sarah (Toni Collette), and even brings himself to enjoy the company of his backwards redneck brother-in-law Howard (David Koechner), while Sarah is able to make peace with her sister Linda (Allison Tolman) and Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell). As each of them go one by one, the family unit grows closer and closer. 

I would also like to compliment the prop designers and costume designers for their work on this film. The Elves and the Toys that helped Krampus were, for the most part, actual props and not all drowned in CGI. A little bit of realism gave the film that cheesy, B-movie horror vibe that I absolutely adored from the 70s and 80s which so rarely exist in mainstream horror titles anymore. Krampus himself was a hideous son of a bitch, and his whole costume, from the dangling furs to the chains, was impeccable. They were all designed wonderfully and the costumes turned out to be a lovely treat. 

Now, the bad point of the film comes mainly with the rushed ending and the uninspired taking of most of the family members. The film didn't really have death scenes within it; each member got taken away by Krampus (After all, this was rated PG-13), but most of the scenes where they are taken away is pretty boring. The only child that was taken away in an interesting fashion is Howie Jr., but I won't spoil that for you. And, yes, the ending felt rushed as the family pretty much makes a beeline for their one and only salvation, only to be dragged away in the snow. It was quite boring. 

What I will give the film is that when the toys - Krampus' "helpers" -attacked, the film got leagues more enjoyable and laughable. Watching three gingerbread cookies fire a nail gun at a grown man who's defending himself with a shotgun is more than enjoyable. And watching a vicious Teddy bear attack grown women with axes and another man with a pistol was hysterical. So, that action was fantastic to say the least. 

In all honesty, this isn't the best holiday horror film to go see, but it was a fun thrill ride and cheap journey through a family tearing itself apart only to be brought back together by an evil mythological creature. I'm actually hoping for a sequel for this film - even if its straight to DVD - as an even cheesier, gorier take on this film would make it all the better, and the hard R rating would attract more horror buffs. 
Dec 08 2015

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

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