A lot of people seemed happy when ‘Krampus’ was announced. I however, was not. I didn’t know what it was, but then I looked it up and quickly became sceptical; very sceptical. Director Michael Dougherty’s previous film, ‘Trick R Treat’, didn’t exactly impress me. Yeah, the ending was cool and I liked the monsters, but I just found it lacking when it came to telling a compelling story. Skip forward a couple of years and now we’re presented with Dougherty’s latest endeavour – a film which doesn’t know what it wants to be; is ‘Krampus’ a horror movie? A comedy? Both? Try neither, instead it’s one of the year’s weakest films.
Now let’s not be completely negative, especially from the start. I think that ‘Krampus’ does have something going for it; what that thing is, well…I don’t know. It’s kinda funny, but not really. Kinda scary, but again, not really. It just sort of exists. Again, I don’t want to be completely negative because ‘Krampus’ wasn’t terrible per se. One of its main strengths is the monster; Dougherty is clearly skilled at presenting fantastical beasts. Another strength is the ending. Not many people liked it – one guy in the theatre actually said he hated that type of ending – but I really liked it. It would have been cooler if it had been a little more ambiguous, sure. But this was sort of a “fuck you” ending and that’s what I enjoyed about it the most.
I’m pretty sure you’re curious about the plot, or lack thereof. Yeah, there really is no plot. Or maybe there is? I don’t know, I honestly did not care. I only cared about the monsters and I’m proud to report that they did not disappoint. Especially the jack-in-the-box, which was very reminiscent of the monsters from yesteryear. Besides having no plot, ‘Krampus’ has little-to-no laughs or scares. This is one of the film’s biggest downfalls. A friend said to me, “it’s funny when it’s not meant to be and isn’t funny when it’s trying”, and I have to agree. I only really laughed once, and as is the case with many “horror-comedies”, the film wasn’t even trying to make me laugh at that point.
Overall, ‘Krampus’ met my expectations exactly, and not in a good way. A bad movie with cool creatures is what I was expecting and that’s what I got. So can I really complain? Well, when a movie is that reliant on its characters rather than its story, then yes, yes I can. Not only that, it was just downright, fundamentally bad, not that weird kinda enjoyable bad. No, it was bad in the very, very boring sense. Luckily though, the film is short enough, and there was enough there to keep me mildly entertained, but not much. I’d say skip it unless you have nothing else to go see. Even then, I’d recommend checking again and finding something else.
Director: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner