Release year: 2015
Director: Michael Dougherty
Screenwriter: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty, Zach Shields
Starring: Toni Collette, Adam Scott, Emjay Anthony, Krista Stadler, Conchata Ferrell, Allison Tolman, David Koechner, Luke Hawker
When his dysfunctional family clashes, young Max (Emjay Anthony) looses any hope of a merry christmas and accidently summons Krampus; the dark shadow of Santa.
Finding its inspiration in the German/Austrian Krampus figure, Krampus also seems to lean itself against the dark Grimm stories of the area with the undeniable fairytale sense of the icy winter horrorland that magical appears overnight when the beast arrives. It is not horror comedy in the same sense as, for example Gremlins (1984), who can be enjoyed of almost the entire family. The horror is slightly more profound and the story more tense, making this a movie for a more adult audience, but which can be seen by even people with no stomach for gore. Wonderful Collette (Little Miss Sunshine, 2006) brings the same dignity and heart to the part as she always does and Scott (Black Mass, 2015) is good,in particular in scenes with the brilliant Koechner (Paul, 2011), but the stand outs are young Anthony (Chef, 2014) and Stefania LaVie Owen (The Lovely Bones, 2009), the latter making great impact despite short screen time as well as Stadler (Der Atem des Himmels, 2010) brilliantly playing the grandmother obvious keeping secrets about Krampus to herself. It starts out as a Holiday movie about horrible relatives, takes a turn past wonder and a sense of something being wrong before moving into a climax with Christmas made horrifying. There are several Christmas horrors, and especially some of the older ones are rather good but this is definitely one of the better of the newer ones, with a good story moving along in a nice pace and with a good cast and with the brilliance of the legend of Krampus, the dark shadow of Santa for all those on the naughty list, one can only wonder why there aren’t many more Christmas horrors starring this Austrian Holiday beast.
Krampus is a huge part of Austrian and German folklore. In Austria and southern Germany, they have “Krampus Runs” where grown-up men dress up as Krampuses and parade through the city streets and scare children.