***1/2 (out of 5)
December 4, 2015
Adam Scott as TOM ENGEL
Toni Collette as SARAH ENGEL
David Koechner as HOWARD
Allison Tolman as LINDA
Conchata Ferrell as AUNT DOROTHY
Emjay Anthony as MAX ENGEL
Stefania LaVie Owen as BETH ENGEL
Krista Stadler as OMI ENGEL
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
BY KEVIN CARR
Now that it’s the first weekend in December, we can shamelessly start to enjoy Christmas movies. (Yeah, I know that Christmas has been on the mind since the day after Halloween, but with Thanksgiving out of the way, it’s time to jump in with both feet on festive movies.)
The first big release in December this year is a Christmas movie of sorts, but it’s not one that you’ll want to bring a five-year-old to… unless you want a very uncomfortable conversation on the way home.
“Krampus” is horror film featuring a lesser-known dark European legend of the holidays. Somewhat of an anti-Santa, Krampus is a spirit that visits and punishes the naughty during Christmas. In the film, a family gets together for Christmas and finds themselves, fighting and bickering, bullying and insulting each other. Because they’ve lost their Christmas spirit, the entire neighborhood is put in the dark, and Krampus arrives to dispense his own holiday cheer.
Directed by Columbus native Michael Dougherty, best known for the Halloween anthology horror film “Trick ‘r’ Treat,” “Krampus” is a Christmas movie for horror fans. Though billed as a horror comedy, “Krampus” never falls into silliness or camp. In fact, it can be quite intense at times. The humor is found in the darkest spots, yielding uncomfortable laughter rather than knee-slapping howls.
A rather simple story, “Krampus” is a different take on the cabin-in-the-woods thriller, with the family trapped in a suburban snowstorm. It won’t be for those whose get genuinely scared at “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” but if you’re into horror flicks, this is a great way to kick off the season.