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Krampus

Krampus_posterThe 80s were a long time ago, in a land far far away.  Films such as Gremlins, Critters, Tremors, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, have become cable staples and B movie classics.  Krampus attempts to tap in to those films to create a new classic of its own.  While it slightly achieves that overall, it does mimic these films rather than create something new, but that doesn’t really matter.  Krampus is a film that attempts to purely entertain, and for that I can say it succeeds.

The film stars Adam Scott as Tom and his wife Sarah played by Toni Colette. They have two children, Beth and Max, and are the perfect upper middle class family.  Sarah’s sisters family has come over to celebrate Christmas (think the Griswalds in-laws) to make everyones evening horrible, but the horrible-ness has just begun as Krampus will soon be coming to ruin everyone’s Christmas cheer.

Krampus is based off of German folklore.  Krampus is the antithesis of Santa Claus.  He is sent to punish children who misbehave, or choose to not believe in the spirit of Christmas.  Things start off slowly as we just deal with the family dynamic of everyone trying to get along in typical family fashion, but things slowly begin to change for the worse as Max begins getting teased by his cousins for believing in Santa Claus.  He’s teased so much that he rips up a letter he was going to send to Santa, and falls in line with what his cousins believe…that Santa Claus does not exist.  This wakes the spirit of Krampus, and he’s headed for their family.

The weather soon begins to get worse and worse, forcing the family to remain house-bound, and Krampus and his evil elves and minions are coming to torture the family.  Their only hope to save themselves and Christmas is by believing in the spirit and joy of Christmas, but it might be too late.

I wouldn’t call Krampus terrifying, and I also wouldn’t call it overly funny.  It does a good job of imitating those films I mentioned earlier, and chugs along for a fun some-what scary ride, but the PG-13 tag hurts the film from becoming a terrifying horror film.  There’s still a lot of jump out of your seat moments, and Adam Scott always entertains.  I think it’s a film that you might want to skip in the theater unless you want something light and quick, but it’s definitely a film that would be a great late night Netflix watch.

Grade: B-