Christmas is here and with it comes the usual selection of overly sentimental Christmas movies preaching the importance of family and believing in good ol’ St Nick. Krampus, the latest film from Michael Dougherty turns out to be just what we need to get away from all this sickly festive cheer.
Inspired by Alpine folklore Krampus is the story of a family who seem to have forgotten what Christmas is all about. They spend their whole time arguing and are more interested in playing on their phones than spending time together over the festive period. This lack of holiday spirit invites Krampus to their neighbourhood- an ancient demon Krampus is not out to show these folks the meaning of the holidays but rather to punish them and send them all to hell for their wrong-doings.
Krampus proceeds to wipe out their neighbourhood during a blizzard that sees them cut off from civilisation before setting about torturing the central family with his army of critters.
Krampus clearly takes inspiration from another slice of festive inspired mayhem with his little critters, especially the ginger bread man who brings back fond memories of The Gremlins. The anarchic nature of the films central battle will put smiles on the most cynical faces and the film isn’t afraid to be really nasty when it needs to be.
The film does take a while getting to this though and pacing issues certainly make the opening 40 minutes of the movie feel slow. Dougherty’s previous movie Trick R Treat was a compact 1hr 20 horror treat whilst this, despite only being 20 minutes longer feels awfully stretched out at times.
Dougherty does manage to maintain the wicked sense of humour from Trick R Treat though- with Conchetta Ferrell proving a particular height as the families trailer trash aunty.
Krampus is not going to be for everyone, those who want their holiday movies to be filled with festive cheer are best off looking elsewhere but those with a slightly twisted sense of humour and a tendency to be a bit of a humbug will find plenty to enjoy here.