December 4: Krampus (2015)

Krampus. Directed by Michael Dougherty. Universal Pictures, 2015.

Pre-Screening Sips

  • I saw this movie five years ago on opening night for my birthday (birthday screenings will be a recurring theme here since I’m a December baby)
  • I mostly remember having a good time but being surprised by the lack of actual Krampus

Post-Screening Snippets

  • The title credits for this movie are wonderful; In no way does the Christmas shopping stampede interact with the narrative at all, but it’s a great way to set the cynically comic tone
  • The introduction of the “other side” of the family is rich with comedy and relatable anxiety
  • I appreciate that this movie continues the Home Alone trend of piece of shit cousins and siblings
  • If there is one actor I want in every movie, it’s Toni Collette
  • The Spielberg-esque score serves the dark whimsy of the film so well
  • The Krampus’s first introduction is still confusing to me since he is jumping from roof to roof with ease, but later takes a full minute to turn his head
  • Once the horror elements are actually introduced, the film really struggles to maintain a consistent tone – we lean too far into serious horror or goofy comedy instead of balancing a horror-comedy tightrope best walked by the evil gingerbread cookies shooting nails at David Koechner (yes, you read that sentence correctly)
  • Why can’t I see anything? Did this lighting team go on to work on the eighth season of Game of Thrones?
  • Woah. The Claymation-esque flashback sequence is pretty impressive
  • The unveiling of all of Krampus’s little creatures is like dark Christmas Jumanji
  • I rarely recommend sitting through the credits, but the classic Christmas songs rewritten with creepy lyrics is worth it
  • I appreciate the interpretable twist ending, though I envision this infuriating some viewers
  • Okay, I was right, there is surprisingly little Krampus in Krampus

The Final Hot Chocolate

         Unless you’re a horror fan, Krampus is not destined to join your list of annual Christmas movies, but it’s a great choice if you want to add a dark twist to your rotation—it would also work really well in a Gremlins-centric marathon. The cast really gives it their all, especially Toni Collette and Allison Tolman, and there is enough macabre silliness to delight audiences more naughty than nice.

GRADE: B

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