There is no lack of horror related holiday and Christmas movies. The holidays seem to have a darker side to them or maybe just a good amount of cynicism is required to get through it for some. Me, I like when the overall, manufactured and corporate controlled holiday cheer is disrupted and made fun of. That’s where “Krampus” comes in.
Written and directed by Michael Dougherty, who was responsible for another wonderful perennial favorite “Trick R’ Treat,” “Krampus” revels in holiday cynicism and shines a light on what the holidays have really become in this country. You need look no further than the opening credits that is nothing but slow motion montage of Black Friday shoppers beating the shit out of each other, trampling each other while children with bruised eyes look on. All set to the music of “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas,” and the monsters haven’t even shown up yet. But when they do, it’s spectacular.
The whole movie is framed around this dark sense of humor and the Krampus along with his motley crew of twisted holiday mainstays are established to be the anti-Santa Claus, appearing when people have lost the holiday spirit and need a reminder. It’s a fairly traditional horror movie in that sense. Something causes the Krampus to come and it plays out like a good old fashioned horror movie but the holiday lean and visuals really set the movie apart. For example, we’re all used to seeing a wintery neighborhood at Christmas time but this movie takes those typically joyful and peaceful holiday tropes and turns them into menacing, eerie, and horrifying elements. Like I said, it’s the anti-Christmas movie, at least visually. It also culminates in one of the most metal Christmas scenes I’ve ever seen.
The “Krampus” is destined to become a holiday classic, at least for those of us who like this sort of thing. It’s mean spirited, cynical, visually astounding and the perfect holiday movie for those who may be just a little sick of all the typical Christmas bullshit.