When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family's home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
Krampus is a huge part of Austrian and German folklore. In Austria and southern Germany, they have "Krampus Runs" where grown-up men dress up as Krampuses and parade through the city streets and scare children. See more »
Their house is shown on the poster with Krampus standing on top. If the den is on the bottom right where the movie ends, then why were they looking up at the ceiling of the den when the elves were running back and forth on the roof multiple times? There are 2 rooms directly above the den if we include the room with the gabled window, which could be the attic. They should not have been able to hear the footsteps that well even when the dark elves were trying to pull up Howie Jr. We even see the den ceiling collapse later when Der Klown falls through the air duct supposedly between floors no longer in the attic. See more »
And all through the house, a whole damn bunch of creatures were stirring.
"Krampus", based on actual folklore in Germany and Austria, may not be without faults, but damn if it isn't a reasonably impressive new addition to the canon of Yuletide genre movies. It starts out as an obnoxious domestic comedy, as one family welcomes their grating relatives in for the holidays. Young Max, played by the very appealing Emjay Anthony, is so distraught by the friction between his kin that he destroys his letter to Santa and turns his back on the Christmas season. Big mistake: an imposing demon named Krampus makes it his mission to punish - make that SEVERELY punish - all those who lose their hopes and beliefs. Soon, horrible weather conditions presage an escalating series of terrors for Max and company.
Co-written and directed by Michael Dougherty, who also gave us a modern Halloween favorite in the form of "Trick r Treat", this is surprisingly engaging entertainment. However, it's not so much a horror comedy, as it is a full-blown horror movie with some moments of levity. Despite the PG-13 rating, it's not for the youngest members of your own family due to some incredible intensity. It does take on the tones of a nightmare. It's not always believable - if you heard the disembodied voice of a loved one who'd gone missing, you'd sure as Hell want to investigate - but this viewer regards this sort of thing as mostly pure fantasy, anyway.
It does have its pleasures, such as a rich variety of "monsters", which are huge, hideous abominations of familiar toys and goodies. (This viewers' personal favorite was the anaconda sized Jack in the box.) There is some very potent atmosphere and quite a bit of macabre imagery filling up the 2.35:1 frame.
How one responds to the protagonists will most likely affect how they respond to the film. Yours truly wouldn't have minded seeing everybody get theirs. Still, the actors give it 100%: Adam Scott and Toni Collette as Maxs' parents, David Koechner as the gun loving uncle, Conchata Ferrell as the grumpy great aunt, and Krista Stadler as the wise grandmother who knows the score, right from the start.
A solid diversion overall, with some groan inducing dialogue and moments but quite a bit of energy & pizazz and a twisted nature.
Seven out of 10.
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