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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Movie Review- Krampus

The harbinger bell of bad things to come in, Krampus


Intro

"Shackles clang, are you listening?
Hear the wind, it is whistling.
A terrible sight, we're fearful tonight.
Dying in a winter wasteland.
Gone away, is the bluebird.
In its place, is a mean turd.
He's sending his horde, we pray to the lord.
Krampus gonna kill us with his clan.
Well in the front yard we can see a snowman.
It's eyes are like our daughter's that are brown.
We'll say that's one scary ass looking snowman.
But we should stay inside and hunker down.
Later on, we'll perspire.
As we cry, by the fire.
To face all afraid, the bad choices we made.
Gramma's sending all us to be damned.
In the front yard now there're much more snowmen.
And some toys that look like evil clowns.
We'll all end up a bunch of freaking snowmen.
Until our glassy prison calls us down.
When you wish, for a new fam.
Make sure that, it's not to pusKram.
When we hear that bell, we're going to hell.
Our prison is a snowglobe in his hand.
Our prison is a snowglobe in his hand."

Krampus

Krampus is one of those rare Christmas horror films. We generally don't get to see our most sacred holiday (F*** Easter!) used as a backdrop for carnage and terror. So when one does finally come around, many take notice. Off the top of my head, the last film like that that I had seen in theaters was Gremlins. That was a long time ago. Sure there have been a bunch of Christmas slasher movies since then but, I don't count them nor do I count the low budget straight to video ones either. I'm talking about monsters/demons/women out of Pamprin. From the introductory scene, this film lets you know that it's not the typical holiday lovefest. It shows you how mean and selfish people can be during this time of year. It's especially funny when you realize that it's not your family that's being so unsavory. Afterward, the film presents each character in all of their unredeemable glory. I was on board so far. I was even on board when the other family shows up and is used as a one-sided political attack on the etiquette and mental capacity of right-wingers. I was on board with the creepy production designs, creatures, and overall look of the film. And then the other shoe dropped. I realized about halfway through (when the flair has died), that this movie is an uninspired knockoff of Gremlins that is ultimately boring and unoriginal. There's even a hint of copying from the plot of Home Alone as well. Krampus tries to present itself as a big film with big aspirations that nevertheless can't live up to its own promise. It attempts to be too many things at once; A horror film, a social and political commentary, a family film, and a comedy. That's not a good blend when the evil elves are pounding on the door and we need to focus.
The actors themselves all try to give it their best effort. Yet I can't honestly find a single person to root for. The damage has been done from the beginning; No one deserves to walk away from this ordeal, no matter how poorly written they are. The only two sympathetic characters that I can even recall, are from Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine) as a perfectionist Mother and Austrian actress Krista Stadler as Omi the wise Grandmother. Conchata Ferrell (Two and a Half Men) as the asshole Aunt who gives more criticisms than compliments, is the funniest player, who gets used up at the beginning and gradually fades to the background as the film progresses. Adam Scott (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), David Koechner (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse), and Alison Tolman (Fargo The Series) are distinctively useless in their own unique ways. It makes no sense, I like all of those actors. The main protagonist is the child Max, played by Emjay Anthony (Chef), who has the same personality and leading power that made Jake Lloyd (Star Wars: Episode I- The Phantom Menace) famous. When I can't even care about the little bastard that's suffering through this, I'm not going to care much for anything else either. Aside from the writing, I believe that the PG-13 rating seriously hurt Krampus' final results. This picture should have been gory and relentless. Not ninety-eight minutes of hypocrites cowering by a dying fire. By the end, do they really think that a load of fake sentiment is going to make us forget that everyone involved was an asshole from the get-go?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Krampus

The Good- The horny Santa pic, the Omi animation sequence, bilingual family conversations, and the ending doesn't sell out.
The Bad- I fell asleep at least four times during the second half. Didn't miss a thing.
The Ugly- *****SPOILER ALERT***** How lazy can a script be to just wipe everybody out in the span of five minutes near the end? "Hey, we need to end this shit. F*** it. Let's just yank everybody down into the snow after they've given some meaningful stare to the audience/protagonist?" *****END SPOILER*****

Final Thoughts

Krampus is not scary, not funny, not classic, and most implicitly, not worth your time. It blows my mind that a film that looks so good can be so empty inside. I would rather see a spin-off film of Kevin McCallister's dickhead Uncle Frank and his family on vacation from Home Alone, than ever see this movie again. At least, that guy had some personality. You can take this pus, and kram it! Merry Krampus!!!
Rating- 3 out of 10

Krampus  (2015)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Fantasy, Horror |  4 December 2015 (USA)

Director: Michael Dougherty   

Writers: Todd Casey  Michael Dougherty   

Stars: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner  

 

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