“Krampus” is a Christmas horror comedy that fails to supply either horror or comedy for much of its 98-minute running time.
I found myself dozing in and out of consciousness on more than one occasion. I think my opinion will reflect a lot of other horror-comedy fans out there by saying the same thing: It’s all been done before and better, much better.
The movie is about two families coming together during the holidays even though neither family really likes the other. One family’s youngest son, Max (Emjay Anthony), is relentlessly picked on by his cousins and doesn’t really have any kind of Christmas spirit. On Dec. 22, he writes his wish list to Santa only to tear it up later and have it scattered to the wind.
Little does Max realize, his actions cause a snowstorm that cuts out the power all over the neighborhood, leaving them with no utilities whatsoever. He sees a mysterious figure approaching homes on rooftops and quickly discovers it’s not St. Nick. No, instead it’s Krampus, a kind of anti-Santa Claus that punishes people for their lack of belief in the holidays and tortures them for not believing.
You’re not going to see much in Krampus that you haven’t seen in another Christmas horror-comedy classic, and that’s “Gremlins.” There’s only one scene in the film that provides any kind of real laughs in the middle of the terror, and that is a scene involving psychotic gingerbread men coming to life and terrorizing the families in their kitchen. Of course this scene is mirroring the same kind of attack in “Gremlins.”
If it weren’t for the creature attacking this family, there wouldn’t be much a movie to begin with. Maybe Krampus should’ve visited the Coopers from “Love the Coopers” and begun some Yuletide mayhem with them. Now that is a movie for you.
As I walked out of the theater, I spoke with a guy who also saw it and he said something along the lines of it being so bad that he would consider bringing friends to see it just to show how awful it is. My sentiments exactly. Oh, you better watch out. You better not cry. “Krampus” is bad. I’m telling no lie.
(Rated PG-13 for sequences of horror violence/terror, language and some drug material.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.