Combustible Celluloid
Stream it:
Download at i-tunes iTunes
Own it:
Search for Posters
Search for streaming:
NetflixHuluGoogle PlayGooglePlayCan I
With: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler, Maverick Flack
Written by: Michael Dougherty, Todd Casey, Zach Shields
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of horror violence/terror, language and some drug material
Running Time: 98
Date: 12/04/2015

Krampus (2015)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Claus for Alarm

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

While the idea of a Christmas-themed horror movie may sound abhorrent, this has a very appealing mix of humor and scares, and a dark ending, but it has an undeniable warmth and a good holiday spirit. Director and co-writer Michael Dougherty also made the very good Halloween movie Trick 'r Treat (2007) and he doesn't disappoint with Krampus.

During a stressful Christmas season, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is struggling to maintain his belief in Santa Claus. When his loudmouth relatives come to visit, his nasty cousins find his letter to Santa and tease him at the dinner table. In tears, he rips up the letter and sends the pieces out into the winter night. Unfortunately, this brings on the other spirit of Christmas, the dark shadow of St. Nicholas called Krampus. In the midst of a blizzard, Krampus and his evil helpers descend upon the neighborhood. It's up to Max's dad (Adam Scott), mom (Toni Collette), uncle (David Koechner), and aunt (Allison Tolman) to set aside their differences and band together. But only Max's grandmother (Krista Stadler) knows the true nature of the demon.

It starts with a cynical touch, and some big laughs, but quickly finds its heart in the Max character, who truly wants to believe in Santa Claus and in his family. The movie sets up the family members as comic opposites, but finds the good in both sides. When the scary stuff comes, the monsters appear to be practical rather than digital, and while they're menacing, they also have a fun quality, not unlike in the Gremlins movies. The movie sometimes gets lost in all its monster fights, but then an ominous, somewhat ambiguous ending ties everything together. Krampus may upset sensitive viewers, but lovers of alternative holiday viewing will rejoice.

Movies Unlimtied