- on Thursday, 03 December 2015 21:59
- by Loron Hays
Ho ho ho! Merry friggin’ Christmas! Have you been naughty or nice this year? Fuhget about Sandy Claws, it is Krampus who really wants to know.
Writer/director/producer Michael Dougherty (Trick 'r Treat) returns to cinemas to spread the Christmas cheer and jeer in a fun and irreverent way this weekend. His latest is a carnival of gore and laughs. Watch Christmas get celebrated via a bit of comically-themed cinéma vérité as the family holiday gets sliced and diced and flipped on its head in Krampus and see for yourself if you can’t relate to its comic handling of some pretty tired Christmas time clichés.
Inspired by some ancient pre-Christian folklore, Krampus is the story of a very relatable and stressed-out family get-together that goes completely off-kilter in a matter of hours thanks to the arrival of a deliciously evil-looking Alpine monster. Complete with plump, annoying cousins and very ancient aunts, screenwriters Dougherty, Todd Casey, and Zach Shields invite viewers in with a very relatable situation before they parade all the freaks and menacing looking snowmen in this feature.
And then shit gets real weird. Krampus, who travels underground before he switches to the rooftop, is ready to steal them away. Think Gremlins and you’ve pinpointed exactly where this holiday tale of home invasion is headed. But it ain’t St. Nick sliding down the chimney this year. Oh hell no; it’s a beast by another name.
Combine all that early familial “joy” in the movie with arguments about guns and sports (you know you’ve had them!!) and a boy’s (Emjay Anthony from Chef) devastation - best expressed by the violent disposal of his letter to Santa Claus – and it is the devil who gets the spirited message. Enter an unexpected blizzard. The power is cut. A package arrives.
And the snowmen. My god, the snowmen! Their faces alone will keep you alert and on the edge of your seat.
So – thanks to Dougherty’s crafting of the events in the movie – the flick goes from warm and inviting to a comically harrowing and gray. The family at the center of this domestic tale feels abandoned. Hopeless. And still Dougherty and cinematographer Jules O’Loughlin find ways to inject humor. From a comically-charged overuse of close-ups to the bleakest of wintry atmospheres, audiences – especially those with a sweet tooth for the absurd – will have fun with these thrills and PG-13 chills as the twisted events of the night begin to ramp up.
When a family member suddenly disappears, Max’s parents (Adam Scott and Toni Collette) dare to venture outside to see what the hell is going on. Let the hunt begin. They – while the rest of their clan huddles around the fireplace - begin to realize just how much trouble they are in when a dark entity tries to pull them below. Back to the house. Quick!
Co-starring David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Krista Stadler, Krampus is a comical ride through a very scary night. See for yourself just excellent the flick is in spreading some pretty merry madness among family members. I laughed out loud several time before shutting up quickly when face to face with Krampus himself. While Dougherty proves he’s serious about his horror, we can’t help but laugh alongside this very unsilent night and it's all marvelously by design, too. Nothing unintentional.
From an army of gingerbread men with nail guns to the headlining ogre of this relatively bloodless (but tasty!) snack, Krampus is the black comedy of the yuletide season to see.
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of horror violence/terror, language and some drug material.
Runtime: 98 mins
Director: Michael Dougherty
Writer: Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty
Cast: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner
Genre: Fantasy | horror
Tagline: You don't want to be on his list.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It's Christmas. Nothing bad is going to happen on Christmas!"
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Official Site: http://www.krampusthefilm.com/#/
Release Date: December 4, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: April 26, 2016
Synopsis: When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers.
All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured familys home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.
Available on Blu-ray - April 26, 2016
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1; French: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A
Released by Universal, Krampus’ 1080p HD transfer is as shiny as expected. Colors are warm and expressive and black levels are deep. There are nice edges to the shadows and, as reds and grays dominate the picture, a surprising depth to a lot of the hues. The practical effects and chiseled in expressive textures that the blu-ray captures nicely. Christmas decorations are peppered throughout and very detailed. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is a total immersive experience.
Director-Co-Writer Michael Dougherty and Co-Writers Todd Casey & Zach Shields provide the film’s commentary track. Fans of the movie should enjoy their comments about the filming of the movie as they have many stories and also give some interesting technical details from the shoot.
What’s great about this release is its absolute embrace of practical effects. As if it knows this is what its fans appreciate, the additional content dives in and provides a detailed look at the costumes, the stunts, and the history of the legend at the heart of this release. There are a lot of deleted scenes to dive into, complete with an alternate ending. While they don’t add to the movie, they are fun to watch nonetheless. A DVD copy and a UV/iTunes digital download of the film are included.
- Alternate Ending (2 min)
- Deleted/Extended Scenes (18 min)
- Gag Reel (5 min)
- Dougherty's Vision (3 min)
- The Naughty Ones: Meet the Cast (5 min)
- Krampus and His Minions (12 min)
- Practical Danger (5 min)
- Inside the Snow Globe: Production Design (5 min)
- Behind the Scenes at Weta Workshop: Krampus (10 min)