While the Christmas season represents the most magical time of year, ancient folklore warns of Krampus, a horned beast who punishes naughty children. When family squabbling causes young Max (Emjay Anthony) to lose his festive spirit, it unleashes the wrath of the fearsome demon. As Krampus lays siege to the Engel home, mother Sarah (Toni Collette), father Tony (Adam Scott), sister Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen), grandmother (Krista Sadler), uncle Howard (David Koechner), aunt Linda (Allison Tolman), cousins Howie Jr., Stevie, and Jordan (Maverick Flack, Lolo Owen, and Queenie Samuel), and great aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) must band together to save one another from a monstrous fate.
A Christmas horror film is something that does not come along very often so I thought I would give this one a chance. I never really knew anything about Krampus going in this other than the one time where American Dad had an episode about it. Of course I know that it wasn’t going to be like that since this is a horror movie. The basic plot of the film is pretty simple since it is about a boy who is part of a dysfunctional family who is becoming even more dysfunctional with each passing year. Wishing that Christmas was just like how it used to be, he writes a letter to Santa asking him for help. When he realizes that there is no hope, he tears up his letter. Once that happens, this leads to a series of events leading to being terrorized by the demon Krampus. I understood this but little beyond that made much sense to me. The film did not really do a good job at explaining things. I didn’t understand why Krampus showed up when it did but I was expecting it to show up at some point since the film was named “Krampus” after all. It was never really clear as to its motives. We only really got an explanation until later on in the film from Tony’s (Scott) German mother but that still wasn’t clear to me. The film just made less sense the further it went. It could have been better if it had more time to explain things but I thought the film could have ended sooner because the end did not make sense and was unnecessary. Of course you’re going to get your traditional horror movie logic when you see characters make bad decisions but this was thankfully kept to a minimum. This was kept to a minimum because there wasn’t much horror to be had. We as viewers and the characters never seemed to face any danger. There was some horror as I can only recall one scene with any which I liked but I won’t give anything away. I will say that the special effects in this one including the monsters/creatures summoned by Krampus and this sort of relates to the one scene I liked. The acting here was okay, especially Anthony’s Max being a cliche but was still compelling and relatable. It was just disappointing when the opening made me think the film was about something different from what it really was because I was kind of looking forward to an anti-Christmas Christmas film. Overall, this wasn’t what I thought it would be but I was still entertained. Not quite a Christmas Classic but it’s still a decent time.