After taking a little time off and creating a Roku channel, I'm back from my posting hiatus to present my review of Michael Dougherty's Krampus.
This is one hell of a fun movie, folks. So Fun! Fun in the only way demons for the holidays can be.
I saw it with my brother - couldn't talk my Husband into seeing it just yet. He heard an NPR report that stated it was okay but too scary for anyone under 13 and not scary enough for anyone over 13.
My reply: "So... like Gremlins?" (a film that terrified me when I saw it in the theater as a child, my parents thought the movie was hilarious).
I think this horror story is very akin to Gremlins. Adult humor, snappy dialogue, relateable characters, while also saturated with a bunch of unique and totally original (downright frightening) monsters.
Krampus moves quick and slow yet keeps the audience engaged thoroughly. The scenery and setting is so well done that one will feel very much as if they too are sitting there with the family, huddled next to the fire, listening to the pounding of hooves on the roof.
I very much appreciated how effectively the story isolated this poor family from the 'real' world, creating a very believable and entertaining fairy tale land that allows the viewer to sit and watch without questioning logic, actions, etc. Very well done here, script writers. Well done.
The monsters, folks. These monsters. It's not just Krampus - and that I did not expect. Someone culled these creatures from the deepest, darkest realms of our childhood fears and then made them bigger and faster! At times the entire theater audience could do nothing but gasp and laugh at these things. Not laugh because they were funny, but because they were so over-the-top nightmarish that one's initial response to is to laugh while recoiling in horror. My jaw dropped at the sight of these creatures. Dropped.
Those who reject blood bath films, fear not! There is no gore here, no blood and guts at all. In fact, no gore was needed to make this a horror show.
Finally, the dichotomy of the holidays were portrayed so brilliantly that you might just want to high-five someone. The gift shopping chaos, the family fights, the political wars brought to the dinner table, and even the gun debates - it was all shared here with sharp, almost (good) painful wit and satire.
In all, I found this film to be completely entertaining. Krampus took itself just as seriously as it made fun of itself, creating a great environment for groups and families (where the kids are a little older). Treat yourself to a fairy tale in the classic sense - dark, twisted, wrong, and with some heavy handed morals to take home.
Pairs with anything hot, and spiked with booze. Have cookies, soups, and candy canes sucked to the point that you've created a small, sweet stabby weapon handy (just in case...).