Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Film Review: "Krampus" (2015).

The tagline of the oil reads "You don't want to be on his list." And this very true for Krampus. This horror comedy film based upon the eponymous character from Germanic folklore, directed by Michael Dougherty and written by Dougherty, Todd Casey, and Zach Shields. When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max 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.

His name is everywhere, but who is Krampus? Born out of Pagan folklore and embraced by ancient Germanic cultures, this fearsome companion of Saint Nicholas punishes misbehaving children by swatting them with branches, putting them in a bag and dragging them to Hell. Bearing massive horns and hoofs for feet, Krampus has terrified children for centuries. The film was in development for a number of years since the release of Dougherty's cult hit Trick 'r Treat (2007), until the film went into production in 2012. Dougherty describes the Krampus in this film as Santa Claus's shadow: "He's not the unstoppable monster that kicks down your door and rampages and grabs you. There's something darkly playful about him. He's having a good time doing what he does and he enjoys the cat-and-mouse aspect of it." The Creature effects were made by Weta Workshop. For Krampus' design was distilled from various postcards and illustrations of the creature over the years. The film was originally to release on November 25 but was pushed forward to December 4 to coincide with the Krampusnacht, a traditional Austrian festival held on December 5 that celebrates the Krampus coming to punish naughty children. 
The film stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Krista Stadler. The cast terrific performances despite playing the most unlikable and depressing lot of characters I have ever seen. However, you empathise with their plight and you root for them when Krampus comes to town.

Krampus is fun and full of sly series of send-ups. A wildly original roller-coaster ride of hilarious horror. A horror-comedy about an ancient folklore who turns out to be a murderous monster wreaking havoc on a suburban neighbourhood. There is satire here: a sense of silly but thoughtful consideration on the Christmas traditions and how easily all the relatable facades crumble as a consequence of simple illusions being so easily shattered. An entertaining and original horror film with top notch effects, a great villain, and a brilliant score. Here's the season's most delicious and unexpected surprise. Think of A Christmas Carol visited by the Devil. Think of The Muppet Movie run amok. Imagine a twisted mind splicing It's a Wonderful Life with Gremlins.

Simon says Krampus receives:

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