Film review: Krampus (15)

Krampus.
Krampus.
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SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: ADAM SCOTT, TONI COLLETTE, DAVID KOECHNER, ALLISON TOLMAN, CONCHATA FERRELL, EMJAY ANTHONY, STEFANIA LAVIE OWEN & KRISTA STADLER

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 38 MINS

DIRECTOR: MICHAEL DOUGHERTY

Something for those who find most Christmas films a little too sickly sweet.

I love a festive flick that has a naughty side to it – and the latest movie to join the likes of Bad Santa, Gremlins and The Nightmare Before Christmas, is Krampus.

This fantasy-horror-comedy (from the writer of Superman Returns, X-Men 2 and forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse and writer/director of Trick ‘r Treat) is loosely based on a Bavarian urban legend – where, in contrast to Santa, a horned and demonic creature punishes those who have misbehaved at Christmas time.

Krampus’ latest victims are young Max (Emjay Anthony) and his dysfunctional family – Mum (The Sixth Sense’s Toni Collette), Dad (Adam Scott) and Sister (Stefania LaVie Owen) – and their distant relatives. After tensions rise within the household and harsh words are spoken, all hell breaks loose, forcing the family to fight together if they hope to survive.

Krampus has a few psychotic helpers with him. Some of these are genuinely creepy, while others sadly will make you laugh-out-loud for all the wrong reasons.

During a couple of scenes, we’re supposed to think that some dolls are viciously attacking the family – but due to a mix of bad designs and sloppy editing it looks like they’re doing nothing more than rolling around the room.

But these ‘suspect’ moments are offset by the likeability of the main characters. If we didn’t care for their outcome, this could have been a disaster, but thankfully you will be left rooting towards a happy ending for the family (most of them at least) – which goes a long way to pulling Krampus into the ‘watchable’ zone.

That, coupled with this film being a far cry from your typical Christmas film, makes this well worth a watch.

Rating: 3/5 Mikey Clarke

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