“It’s Christmas-time, there’s no need to be afraid” …….unless your faith in Christmas has gone, in that case it’s time to unleash the Krampus!!

It’s that stressful time of year when families meet, pretend to like each other, have too much to eat and drink and inevitably end up arguing….young Max knows this all too well, his dysfunctional family have gathered for the annual bitching session and he’s had enough! Fed up and ridiculed by his family his faith in Christmas is gone and whilst he rips his wish list up and tosses it from his window he unknowingly summons the Krampus, a Christmas demon hungry to punish the non-believers. Although a slightly different spin on the actual folklore of the Krampus it’s a bit much for much, it’s a watered down tale really that ends up struggling to entertain through its runtime.

I’ll be honest I was genuinely looking forward to Krampus, the trailers made it look like a pure blast, various demons and monsters trying to pursuit the family with a few elements of comedy thrown in……….that was my expectation and although it aimed roughly towards the above there was nothing that caught my attention enough to be particular impressed by watching the film, leaving the cinema was a bit of a flat feeling really.

Merry Christmas! Bah Humbug!

One thing that is certain is that you will find similarities with Krampus and a handful of other films, I couldn’t help feel all the way through that everything felt like familiar territory, might have just been me but even the monster scene in the attic reeked of a previous flick. Without sounding too conflicted Krampus feels like a fairly original idea…but by using unoriginal elements from start to finish.

Personally, what I think one of Krampus’ downfalls is what I’m sure was one of its ‘strengths’ on the story board, is the plight of a family being held up in a single house for the whole night trying to fend off the multitude of attacks, which in theory sounds great, but it just ending up being a waiting game, who’s going to be picked off next? Who’s going to leave the house like a genius to go and meet their fate?

What follows is a little too safe and by the numbers however.

Positives do come in the form of the Krampus itself – if like us at BTG you were duped by ‘Krampus – The Christmas Devil’ then you truly know what a shit effort at a Christmas beast looks like, its minions are fairly creepy too in both their movements and the noises that they make. I like the way that the town has been shot, when ‘Beth’ goes to walk to her boyfriend’s house the feeling of isolation is amazing, all the houses blanketed in a dreary sheet of snow, zero signs of life, the shot worked well. In terms of the ‘humour’ there ended up being a mere few moments of smirks at the start of the film that ended up fizzing out.

All said and done Krampus is an amalgamation of so many other films that it ends up struggling to retain an identity of its own, a shame really as it was advertised as offering some classic folk tale horror with elements of gore, mystery and comedy but it never really delivers strongly on any front;  had this come up alongside other (non-festive) creature features I doubt it would come off all that strong, but in a niche market, it just about holds its own. There are some good bits scattered here and there, but as a horror film its to typical to really stand out.