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Thursday, December 24, 2020

Review: Krampus

Director: Michael Dougherty

Screenplay: Todd Casey and Michael Dougherty

Year: 2015

Already full in the Christmas season, many horror movie fans find ourselves in the dilemma of what movie to watch with the family. Many of us don’t want to waste an afternoon watching family movies of questionable quality, but we neither want to traumatize our family with any of the movies we would choose to watch. “Krampus” is an excellent midpoint option.

The whole family reunites in Max’s and his parent’s house to celebrate the holidays. After fighting with his cousins, Max gets mad at his family and ends up breaking the letter he wrote to Santa Claus, which accidentally summons an evil being known as Krampus. Now the whole family must unite to fight against Krampus and his minions. 

The director Michael Dougherty again creates a villain and a movie destined to become a horror movie classic, something he had already achieved with “Trick ‘r Treat”. “Krampus” manages to accomplish that intermediate point between Christmas family movie and horrific, together with an excellent script and great special effects. As if this wasn’t enough, it also has a first-order cast composed of Adam Scott (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”), Toni Collette (“Hereditary”), and David Koechner (“Anchorman”) who, as expected, do a terrific job. What else can you ask for in the holiday season?


For hardcore horror movie fans, “Krampus” might feel tamed, but you have to keep in mind that this is a family movie above all else. However, the horror elements included are excellent and can give one or two scares to those who don’t have much experience in this genre. The look of the creatures that appear throughout the movie, especially the appearance and presence of Krampus, are great and balance well the horror aspect without being traumatizing. 

The plot in “Krampus” is another example of balancing the horror with the family aspect. The moral message in the plot is to appreciate family even when it can be challenging and especially at Christmas, but the story is not pretty as in family movies and instead takes a darker path, much more reminiscent of horror movies. This dark feeling is present through its full duration but cement in the unexpected finale. 

For many horror fans, “Krampus” has become an essential movie to watch with the family during the Christmas season. It doesn’t lean too much on the horror or family aspect, achieving a perfect balance among both that makes it ideal for the holidays. The plot is entertaining and has a good message to reflect upon during Christmas, although the outcome can feel a bit dark.

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