I’d like to start off by saying I’ve had high expectations from Krampus. After watching it I can say that the horror-comedy was neither particularly frightening nor especially funny. It was rather weird. The film has only one really good moment of anarchic nastiness: two preteen legs, jutting from the toothy maw of some elongated, over-sized clown doll—a jack out of its box, gulping down children. Otherwise, this holiday-season fright doesn’t present something unexpected. This film is clearly an homage to St.Nick.
I liked the idea of using slow-motion in some sequences (like the opening scene where a last-minute shopping spree is depicted and accompanied by a Bing Crosby tune). I felt the technique of slow motion worked in the favor of the story. Most of the songs used as soundtracks were okay, but I found some of them really creepy. I understand that this is a horror movie, but I thought there were some exaggerations in some moments.
Krampus boasts some truly terrific practical creature effects, including that bozo worm, a razor-toothed teddy, and the titular monstrosity himself. Trouble is they’re not put under the spotlight in the right manner. The hatefulness holds as we meet our unlucky, unhappy family, brought together through annual obligation. Dad (Adam Scott) is a workaholic, Mom (Toni Collette) is a pill-popping stress machine, and the teenage daughter (Stefania LaVie Owen) is… well, an eye-rolling teenage daughter.
That’s just the tip of the dysfunctional iceberg, as the cozy suburban home is soon invaded by dull, cruel, uncouth relatives. It’s enough to make Max (Emjay Anthony) tear up his letter to Santa, accidentally summoning the big man’s shadow, a hulk of Alpine folklore who comes charging down chimneys, malevolent minions in tow. Krampus is out in cinemas everywhere.