Putting Krampus into the Season of Christmas
Krampus (2015): Rated “PG-13” (1 hours, 38 minutes)
Starring: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
The Reason for the Season
Ah, the end of the calendar year when all of the world turns towards their respective year-end holiday (except of course those that don’t celebrate any “Light-Based” Festival). For reasons that have become ingrained in our respective cultures we as a peoples tend to turn towards peace, love and goodwill towards others at that time of year. Perhaps the most well-known, and widely-celebrated year-end festival world-wide, is Christmas, and the most widely-recognized spokesperson of that festival is Kris Kringle himself — Santa Clause. However, there is a darker side to Christmas, and Santa, and this dark fellow’s name is Krampus.
Krampus (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD)
Legendary Pictures' Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. 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.
A Brief History of Krampus
Now while some of you might mistakenly believe that Krampus is the creation of a modern world, that would simply not be true. Krampus — and the holiday, Krampusnacht, that is named for him —is actually the dark companion of St. Nicholas. However, as opposed to the traditional European winter gift-bringer that Santa is (or who he evolved into over the years) as an individual who rewards good children each year. So, instead of the kindly old Saint Nick, who makes a list and checks it twice, rewarding good kids and leaving coal for bad kids, we are presented with the Horned Devil, Krampus, who simply collects all the bad children, and transports them to a hell-bound location for punishment.
Krampus - Official Trailer (HD)
Fun stuff, eh?
Prepping for the Holidays
The story of Krampusnacht
Needless to say, this is not your typical Christmas film, this is a Krampusnacht film, so nothing that you expect to happen will occur. There are no good kids in this film and there is (quite literally) Hell to pay. As the film starts out, Max (Anthony) is disillusioned with all the greed and animosity that currently surrounds this once-joyous holiday and unequivocally turns his back on Christmas. As can be expected, this sets off a cascading chain of events that grow extremely dark and dangerous as the film progresses. The more that Max’s dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, the more convoluted and dangerous the situation becomes. Well, as can be expected, it is this very lack of a shared festive spirit that has unleashed the wrath of the demonic Krampus.
The Coming of Krampus
Attack of the Icons
As the film progresses numerous beloved holiday icons take on monstrous lives of their own; each of which begin laying siege to the splintered family’s home setting and thus forcing them to actually side with, and fight for, each other if they hope to survive the night.
The Season is Alive
The Holiday Season
As stated at the onset of this review, this is not your typical holiday film. It is dark, fraught with peril, and twists and turns that make this unique holiday film intriguing to watch and enjoy. It is as if someone took National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation syphoned all of the joy out of it, but kept all of the crazy, then just to amp up the suspense and terror, they injected it with all of the rampant creepiness of your standard spook-fest film, making this film delightfully, and dementedly just the kind of film to break up all of the holiday sweetness that occurs at that time of the year.
That's not Santa
Horror with a Holiday Twist
Turns out, the film has an ominously nasty spark that lies just beneath the surface of the film, making it genuinely interesting, and worth a look.