As a frequent cinema goer I can appreciate when a filmmaker tries
something new. I like it when a movie takes a risk. But it is called a
risk for a reason. Michael Dougherty took some risks with Krampus and
while I admire the effort, I didn't care for the resulting product.
Krampus is that movie that tries just a little too hard. Everything feels forced. The comedy. The "scary" moments. This movie desperately wants to be this generation's Gremlins and it isn't. Not by a long shot.
This movie is not without its positives. The actors in this movie do a very good job and I was very close to caring about their characters' fates. But the good acting is wasted on the movie thanks to its clichéd dialogue. And the exception of this would be Conchatta Farrell. She plays the same loud, brash, sarcastic old broad that she annoyed us with for years on Two and a Half Men. I can't help but think that a better actress who could play the type of character they were aiming for, like a Kathy Bates, would have made the character more sympathetic and the movie a little better.
The biggest problem with this movie is it doesn't ever really decide if it's a horror or a comedy. It gets more serious at the end as horror comedies naturally do but by that time you really don't care about these characters. It was a horror movie that didn't make you root for the bad guy per se, but man was I waiting for everyone to die. There are scenes where these people are getting attacked by their toys (yeah, I know. Stupid.) and you can't tell if you're supposed to laugh or be terrified. I laughed at how unterrifying the creatures were but I'm sure that wasn't the filmmaker's intent.
And as for the creatures, once again I appreciate the deviation from the norm and using practical effects, but they are really cheesy and look too puppet-y. First off, we see some toys come to life and attack the family. Sounds like a real scary Christmas scenario. But the toys that come to life are a jack in the box; something that hasn't been under a Christmas tree in about 50 years, a porcelain doll that wouldn't be a suitable gift for ANY of the female characters, and an obviously CGI killer teddy bear. But my biggest complaint is the actual Krampus creature itself. The movie shows you flashes of the villain and even got me excited to see what this thing looks like. Then when they show the Krampus it looks like a prop from a local theater production. At that point, I wish they had never shown him, the mystery would have been way better.
The movie's story is just flat out inconsistent. For a good while you forget about the Krampus completely because of the endless attacks from his minions. You never get any kind of explanation as to where everyone else in this town went to. The grandma character was most frustrating. They used the very annoying foreign language ploy to get more dialogue on the page. As in the character says something in a foreign language, another character asks what they said and yet ANOTHER character translates. See how I just wasted three sentences to explain something that could have been done with one? Yeah, THAT annoying. She also happens to be the living exposition machine. Why is this happening? Grandma will explain after the fact when saying this earlier might have saved a person's life but whatever, I guess. And at the end they kill off about 4 or 5 characters within a matter of seconds. It's as if they realized they had too many survivors at the end and just sloppily had the creature take them out.
The most disappointing aspect of the film is its comedy, or lack thereof. I know how subjective comedy is but you see every joke coming from a mile away like you do this film's jump scares. Maybe it's the Conchatta Farrell thing bothering me still but the jokes feel like they were written by the staff of Two and a Half Men. It's just set up, break, punchline, repeat. They never take advantage of any physical comedy that could come out from a story like this.
Overall, you could see that everyone really tried on this movie but the execution left so much to be desired. I wouldn't recommend seeing this in a theater simply from a financial standpoint. If you're still curious about this one by the time it gets to disc, go ahead and rent it if only to feed your curiosity. No offense but if you're a teenager you might really enjoy this one. I saw plenty of teens enjoying this one and laughing at the jokes I groaned over. So who knows? Maybe I'm just too old for this one.
4 out of 10 stars
Action / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror
Action / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror
When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family's home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
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April 16, 2016 at 05:48 AM