Krampus - film review


- Credit: Archant

This yuletide season sees ancient folklore miscreant Krampus (the demonic shadow of Saint Nicholas) take centre stage as Hollywood’s latest bogeyman.

Much of this horror comedy portmanteau feels familiar, whether it be shoppers throwing punches over seasonal discounts or a hostile family forced to spend the holidays together thanks to DNA. Automatically summoned when Christmas spirit is at an all-time low, the mythological horned Krampus wreaks unbridled havoc on Scrooges. Santa’s evil sibling is not alone when it comes to dishing out the punishment, the heavily hooved monster is aided by a macabre band of toys who seem to be the satanic counterparts to the Toy Story cast. Nail gun-wielding gingerbread men are a particular highlight, alongside an ominous gaggle of masked elves who look like they have been teleported from the set of The Purge. Austrian actress Krista Stadler is a repeated scene stealer throughout, delivering prophetic statements about the seasonal beast in a thick German accent, usually whilst gazing into a roaring fireside. The director pays homage to Joe Dante’s 1984 Gremlins during the snappy running time together with updated cultural references. A dark alternative to the usual cookie cutter Christmas fare, Krampus is a devilishly frosty festivity.

Rating: 4 stars

Certificate: 15

Director: Michael Dougherty

Cast: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Emjay Anthony, Stefania Owen, Krista Stadler

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