For those who crave something of a darker variety during the holidays, Krampus delivers that in spades, with a mix of the chaotic fun from Gremlins.
So those unfamiliar with the story, Krampus is like antithesis to Santa Claus. In the various myths and legends, he is responsible for punishing bad children by kidnapping them, stuffing them into sacks, and bringing them back to his lair to whip them with sticks or possibly feast on them. Of course, we get the Hollywood version of Krampus...he is still scary as heck and imposing, but we don't see him doing any really horrible things to children. No that task is relegated to his minions.
So the story of Krampus is centered around the most miserable family, they have forgotten about what the holidays are all about. And maybe that is the moral of the whole movie. Heck it begins with a scene at a store where are fighting each other, kind of how people get during Black Friday. So anyway, back to the family, they make fun of a boy for still believing in Santa. So he throws away his belief, which summons Krampus to come set everyone straight. He sends his minions to terrorize the family, everything from evil gingerbread men, demonic bears, and Jack in the Boxes that literally devour you.
That is where the similarities lie to Gremlins as the family struggled to battle against the different minions. It gets downright silly at times but not to the point it detracts from the overall dread of Krampus. The special effects are very well done, and there is this stop motion animated bit that explains how Krampus once terrified the grandmother of the family. The creature effects on Krampus himself...boy was he terrifying as heck. This was a very well made movie, and I loved every bit of it. Except for the ending. With all the build up, and the grandeur, the ending was so weak, and I would say a cop out. I guess it was part of the moral of the tale, as the family was supposed to be taught a lesson, and what better lesson than to be stuck in a hell of your own making, but still.
I still highly recommend it, especially those seeking holiday horror movies that offer something different. I would say Krampus, A Christmas Horror Movie, and Rare Exports are your best bets to go with to get an idea of the actual legend of Krampus, and how terrifying he can be.
If you seen Krampus, what were your thoughts on it? Do you know the actual legend, and would you like to see more movies that offer us a glimpse of the world of the terrible beast? Do you observe any traditions related to Krampus? Feel free to weigh in below!
Till next time, Happy Horrordays!! -Tha Thrilla-