So, I just came back from a day-early-before-release screening of Krampus(because that’s what all movies do now; if it comes out on Wednesday or Friday, you can see it Tuesday or Thursday; why not just release it on Tuesday and Thursday, but I suppose then you could see it Monday or Wednesday; Hey! It’s back on Wednesday!), directed by Michael Dougherty (who wrote and directed Trick ‘r’ Treat, which is a film I absolutely love, which is why I thought I was looking forward to this film).
This review will contain spoilers, because there’s no way I can talk about this movie without spoiling something.This is the best movie since Chef Boyardee! If you want to see a great horror/dark comedy film this Christmas, go see The Peanuts Movie because this film accomplishes nothing.
Throughout the film, especially for the first forty minutes or so, I was waiting for this to get fun. Also, I was waiting to actually see Krampus do something besides run around in the background like a giant blob with horns. If I wanted to really see that, I would buy a goat, fatten it up, then drive into a foggy field and let it loose.
There was no reason to care for any of the characters whatsoever and there didn’t seem to be a central character the story focused on. At first you’d think it was Adam Scott, who plays the father and Weenie-Hut Jr. captain. But then the focus shifts to the son of the family who seems to be the only person who actually cares about Christmas. Then it switches back to the father. No clear active protagonist is chosen, since the father makes all the active decisions, yet it wants to try and follow the son for the film’s climax.
About fifty minutes in, we finally see something happen, instead of just people sitting in a house in the middle of a snowstorm making anxious faces and talking about how much they hate one another. Several characters go into the attic and find a giant demonic clown jack-in-the-box swallowing one of the children. It was the best part of the film. Then the gang is attacked by a group of demonic toys.
The toys are: a clown jack-in-the-box, a monstrous teddy bear, a killer robot, and a cutsie doll. If these sound familiar to any sort of horror buff, it’s because they’re the demonic toys from Demonic Toys. This may have been a reference, but there wasn’t anything particularly clever about them other than: look at the cool toy monsters.
The toy monsters (and the evil elves that show up for some reason) are the only actual active forces of antagonism. Krampus does nothing but walk around and make heavy booming noises with his feet. Also, there were snowmen accumulating outside the home, which I thought would go towards a killer snowman route, which could be fun if implemented properly, but they’re just there so the characters can look outside the window and say “Look at the creep snowman. How mystery. How did it appear? Spook.”
Basically the entire film consists of a few ideas that could be a lot of fun and really awesome if it decided to implement them in a way that doesn’t take itself too seriously (a la Trick ‘r’ Treat). I kept thinking of the sub-par crapterpiece of a film called Two Front Teeth while watching this and how this is basically a rich man’s version of that. However, it doesn’t have fun with itself unlike Two Front Teeth. It’s a shame because Michael Dougherty has really shown he can make something great.
Tis the season for crap when it comes to picking a good horror-comedy for the holidays, because I would rather get a dirty diaper shoved in my face (another horrible film, The Visit) than have to endure this failed attempt at Christmas-gore-fun. Also, they decide to throw in the “it was all a dream” ending ALONG with the St. Elsewhere ending: The reason the streets were abandoned and everything was so blizzardly was because they were IN A SNOWGLOBE THE WHOLE MOVIE. That’s right. The poster gives away the ending.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I wish I was never born.