2015, Universal Pictures
Technically this is a Christmas movie, but it’s also a horror movie, so let’s talk about it October for Halloween, okay? Hey, it’s not like the line between Halloween and Christmas hasn’t been blended before by The Nightmare Before Christmas and retail chains such as Target, Walmart, K-Mart, Walgreens, et cetera.
I generally am not very interested in modern horror movies. I love classic horror and ’80s horror, but not much in modern times have I even tried. Mainstream hits like the Saw series, Paranormal Activity, The Conjuring, Insidious, Sinister, and the like have never looked appealing to me. Then on the other hand you have tons and tons of direct-to-video releases that just look awful. I’m very picky when it comes to watching horror movies.
So that’s why, despite my unabashed love for Christmas, I stayed away from Krampus until recently when I was watching some YouTube footage of the Krampus scare house that was being included at this year’s Halloween Nights at Universal Studios Theme Park. I was afraid the would either be too nasty or too awful. However, after coming across some more review lately where it was stated that this movie was more like a comedy-horror in the vein of Gremlins, I decided I needed to check this movie out.
Well, Krampus is no Gremlins. It doesn’t quite have the same amount of heart and humor as that all-time classic, but I can still see where the comparisons come from. One thing that definitely’s definitely different are the characters. For the most part, everyone is miserable and annoying. Look, I get it, we’re stereotyping relatives, but there’s really not many people here to root for or care about.
Having said that, Krampus feels a bit like a throwback and I meant that in a good way. There’s a lot of special effects here done without the help of CGI, and that’s much appreciated. I also enjoyed the opening moments of the film of the family at home. It almost begins to feel like a family Christmas movie with relatives popping in, the kitchen full of Christmas cookies, the house full of decorations, and the son lamenting over the family losing the spirit of Christmas.
I definitely liked the movie though and intend to buy it on Blu-ray and giving it another viewing sometime (probably next year). The only thing that I didn’t care for was the ending, which is somewhat of a twist, I think. Overall, yeah, fans of Gremlins will probably enjoy this one. I know I did.
With a budget of $10 million and a gross of $60 million plus, it’s a no-brainer that Universal is going ahead with a sequel. But don’t get this Krampus horror franchise confused with the two other Krampus franchises: Krampus: The Christmas Devil / Krampus: The Devil Returns and Krampus: The Reckoning / Krampus Unleashed !