For Reel

Krampus (2015)
January 29, 2017, 3:16 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Michael Dougherty
2.5 Stars
krampusThe opening credits of Krampus depict violent shoppers struggling to get their hands on a good holiday deal. If the image is not inspired, it foregrounds the film’s major attitude towards the holiday—namely, that the ugliness of consumerism (in addition to dysfunctional familial relationships) has impeded the spirit. Krampus seems subversive on the surface in the way that it upends Christmas movie conventions by adding a horror component, but actually its ethos is as conservative as it gets. That is, its characters are not punished for any wrong-doings, but because they aren’t meeting the expectations of what is deemed sentimentally appropriate for the holiday. The film might have been more interesting had the reactions to the eponymous creature and its minions been more diverse—there is no sense of the characters dealing with the situation in any way other than violent rebuttals—however the film’s barebones script feels like an afterthought with its sole purpose being to get creatures on camera. The horrifically slack-jawed Krampus is a memorable design, but the snake-like Jack-in-the-Box minion is the film’s most inspired creation. Whereas many of the creatures simply jump at the screen in order to serve up an easy scare, the film’s most haunting image comes when the aforementioned minion claps with glee while anticipating the arrival of more evil henchman.