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Legendary Pictures' Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. 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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1.This poisoned holiday card is my new all time favorite Christmas movie.
2. This is a weird little indie movie that somehow got big-budget Hollywood backing. It's based on the old German legend of Krampus, a horned creature that shows up at Christmas time to kidnap and kill bad children.
3. It's about relatives getting together for the holidays. They all hate each other. When one of the kids loses his faith in a happy life, the neighborhood is assaulted with a blizzard... and some pretty nasty things in the blizzard.
4. The movie is hard to categorize. It starts out as a mean-spirited comedy and dark cultural satire. But it increasingly adds horror elements, so it ends up being very different than it started. It's an odd combination, and some people won't like it just because they aren't sure what it is that they are watching. If you want a full-on horror movie, you may be disappointed. But that's not what it's trying to be, and it makes that clear from the very first scene.
5. It was written and directed by Michael Dougherty. Dougherty also wrote and directed my favorite Halloween movie, "Trick 'r Treat", which has a similar feel and style to this one.
6. Some of the horror sequences are confusingly edited, which makes me suspect they were cut down so the movie could go from being rated 'R' to 'PG-13'. This is annoying, but the movie doesn't lose its punch. So while this movie may not be rated 'R' it is NOT for little kids. Some children will be terrified by the events of this film. Some adults may even object to a few scenes.
7. There is an underlying theme of sacrifice in the film, including the sacrifice of innocence.
8. I was worried about how the movie was going to end, but Dougherty doesn't betray what he built up. The conclusion of the film was very satisfying.
9. This movie takes everything you love about Christmas and twists them inside out. It corrupts all that is sacred about the holiday. It's a beautifully whimsical, horrific fairy tale that exposes the human darkness and false happiness of the most wonderful time of the year.
Spoiler beyond this point but trust me when I say to save your money. Buy 'Gremlins' instead. Basically the same movie with a much, much better storyline and better acting.
Now on to the criticism:
Here's the main problem with Krampus: it has a story that could've been written by an 8-year old child but it's rated for people over 13. And indeed, I'm not convinced that a child didn't write this with the 'OMG it was all a dream!...or WAS it?!' ending.
As other reviewers have mentioned, it doesn't know what it wants to be so it ends up failing on all levels: as a holiday movie, as a dark comedy, as a horror movie, as a kid's film. In the end it's a hybrid of all of the worst parts of these, yet still defies any real category except for 'bad.' And it pulls that category off very well.
Someone called this an 'indie' film.
Right. Just because it saw little to no success in theaters doesn't make it 'indie.' It had a huge waste of a budget and several-somewhat-famous stars. I hope this isn't the kiss of career death for any of them.
Frankly, if you want a movie that creates tension without plot, just watch a slasher film. In the end, I wish I would've. The storyline is predictable, what little plot exists is full of holes and you know how this is going to end way before it gets there. And when it does end, you're relieved to be honest.
I saw this in theaters and when that point came, there was a giant, collective audible moan from the audience. I was glad I wasn't the only one cringing and rolling my eyes.
I will say this: the bright spot in this trainwreck of a movie is the aunt, played by Conchatta Ferrell. She's a veteran and the abyss between her and the other actors was palpable. Even in a small supporting role for a bad movie, she made her role memorable.
And the effects weren't horrible. Kind of the cliched stuff you would expect (OMG! Killer gingerbread men! OMG!)...something a kid would find exciting. Yet it's not a kid's movie. Apparently written by a kid for kids with a PG-13 rating.
Tragic. From a marketing standpoint, of course. Since the reviews are gamed, they will sell a lot of copies of this in April and by May, I'm guessing the real reviews will catch up and it'll end up with about a 2.5 out of 5 stars, which is still being kind in my opinion.
In summary, your 9 year old male boy would like it but the effects will give him nightmares. Anyone over the age of 13 (for whom it's rated) will see the glaring plot holes and the cringeworthy ending and yell at you for suggesting they watch it.
Ultimately it is the movie Gremlins if Gremlins had a horrible ending. And even though that movie was made in the 80s, the characters were more interesting and effects more genuine. Want a Christmas movie for the whole family with an edge to it? Stick with that. If you've got an older crowd, go with Bill Murray's Scrooged.
You've been warned. Hey, look: I'm just trying to help you make an informed decision about skipping a movie that you'll ultimately wish you hadn't watched, certainly wish you hadn't bought (should you be tempted to do THAT).
Is it appropriate for kids? I don't feel like it's appropriate for any other group with the 'OMG it's all a dream like an entire season of the hit TV show 'Dallas.' Don't do it. Just don't.
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The German woman whose village was taken by Krampus in the early days after WW2 is plausible.Read more