Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Yule Wanna See This Movie

Walking out of Krampus I heard one audience member mention Goosebumps, and even though I never saw any of the series based on RL Stine's books (it fell into the uncanny valley between me being too old for it and it not being heralded enough to bridge that gap) I still get what that audience member was getting at -- Krampus mostly feels like a longer stronger episode of an anthologized horror series, one with a bigger budget (but not too big) and tip-top terrific name actors slumming it for chuckles and chills. But oh what laughs, and oh what shrieks, and oh what merry mayhem they make! Christmas as a holiday deserves all the horror movies we can throw at it and I think Krampus could stand tall beside the classics, the Gremlins and Jack Skellingtons. 

The first act had me a little worried the characters were being drawn too broadly (the gun-nut mac-n-cheese conservatives against the prim slash proper cardigan liberals) but writer-director Michael Stephenson opens the folks up as the monsters close in, as the yule logs cool, and the actors get to imbue some real heart into the relationships under extreme holiday duress. Come for the killer gingerbread men, and then stick around for the tender moments between Toni Collette and Allison Tolman.

And then stick around longer, with a jolly good giggle and a warm heart, for more and more of the killer gingerbread men. Oh my god, the gingerbread men, the angels, the jack-in-the-box, and the monsters! The monsters! Give me all of them under my tree this Christmas Eve, Saint Nick or Not Saint Nick, whoever gets there first -- I want them, I want them all, in the true spirit of the season.


paco. said...

It definitely felt like the Sam segment in Trick 'r Treat stretched to 90 mins. But I'm not complaining, it was so much fun.
And it seemed like the audience I saw it with were all on board. Sometimes with this kind of horror-comedy movies, audiences tend to scoff at them, but everyone was laughing along with it. And it has to be said that the design of the monsters is quite scary sometimes, maybe even traumatizing for some kids. Which just makes me want to take me niece to it that much more, she's getting more and more into horror movies, so this is the perfect movie I think.

P.s. I'm sure you didn't notice your mistake, but the name of the director is Michael Dougherty.

JA said...

Shit I will fix that when I get home tonight -- silly me confusing my Next Gen Horrror Icons! Thx paco! :)

Scot said...

Krampus was also in an episode of Grimm. He was a beast that kidnapped bad children and hung them upside down from the tallest tree he could find. On christmas he was going to eat them. Of course the Grimm saved the day but who couldn't see that coming!
Any similarity?

Anonymous said...

But what was up with Krampus's mouth? Did he have lockjaw? It wasn't articulated at all. And we got only the slightest glimpse of that long blue tongue that appears in most of the drawings of him.

JA said...

I actually liked the frozen mask face of him -- it was creepy, as if he was wearing a mask over something even worse, in a way.

The Bad-Ass Penguin said...

First time I've ever disagreed with one of your critiques. I hated this movie so much it gave me hemorrhoids. How? I don't know... I just hated it. I wanted to like it because of the cast and the idea of an anti-Claus... but I felt the script was horrific and the plot mundane. If Adam Scott had a full frontal scene, I would have still given it a 1 out of a possible 10. Maybe a 2 if it was an extended full frontal scene.