Krampus: The True Nightmare Before Christmas – Review

The timing for Krampus’ release couldn’t have been any better, as people prepare to see their favorite in-laws or grumpy aunt, or simply family they just don’t like. This film captures many concepts that are overlooked or forgotten during the holidays, the joys of caring and selflessness. Krampus serves as a reminder of why you shouldn’t be naughty.

If you are unfamiliar with this German based folklore, Krampus is a horned, anthropomorphic figure who punishes children during the Christmas season who have misbehaved, he is described as the “shadow of Saint Nicholas.  


Krampus Poster

The film begins by showing a disjointed family preparing for a long Christmas weekend, as they dread the arrival of their relatives.  During dinner one of the main characters, Max (Emjay Anthony), totally loses his Christmas spirit after his heartfelt letter to Santa is read aloud at the dinner table by his bullying cousin. In a fit of embarrassed rage, Max rips up his letter for Santa Claus, and accidentally summons Krampus.

Krampus Poster GermanThe film spends a fair amount of time emphasizing the family’s distaste for one another; however, the movie progresses quickly, dropping subtle signs of of Krampus’ presence.

Krampus has a fun and  humorous tone from the beginning. It intentionally pokes fun at the horror genre clichés, by giving impossible rationalizations to explain why there is no power, or a dark spontaneous blizzard is looming over their neighborhood. Comedic actors like Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) and David Koechner (Anchorman) are no strangers to such roles, and deliver enjoyable performances.

The movie really begins to build steam as the first victim is slayed, quickly transitioning from funny and a little creepy, to downright terrifying. This film takes advantage of both practical and computer generated effects. Some of the best practical effects are seen are in the attic with the large possessed toys, such as the human eating jack-in-the-box. In addition, the film’s depiction of Krampus was a pleasant surprise, as he was not your run-of-the-mill demon wearing a Santa coat, but instead a dark and twisted version of Saint Nicholas. On the other hand, the effects fell somewhat short when it came to the scenes including killer gingerbread men and their assault on the family.

There were more set pieces than expected, and the film spent just the right amount of time showing them off. The most beautiful scenes were the ones incorporating the characters navigating through the dark blizzard storm. They really contribute to the dark eerie feeling of hopelessness and isolation

The film yields many surprises; one of the biggest surprises is the animated montage depicting the grandmother’s encounter with Krampus as a poor child in Germany. This was a unique and artistic way to explain the origins of Krampus.

Krampus Movie Still

Nonetheless, I found the ending to be refreshingly dark because “sometimes you get what you wish for.” Krampus is the perfect blend of comedy and holiday horror, making for a truly fun holiday movie. It’s jam-packed with surprises, clichés, and relatable characters that bring this Christmas horror home.  Although, it has its sub-par cheesiness, and mild creepiness it brings all the right messages, inspiring viewers to not lose sight of what Christmas really is about… not ripping up your Dear Santa letters!

Overall I rate this film 4 out of 5 UFO’s: 

Rating Saucers 4 out of 5



What did you think of the latest holiday horror film? Did you think it lived up to the hype? Comment below with your thoughts!

Krampus: The True Nightmare Before Christmas – Review

Winter Movie Preview with Oscar Bait

December is a magical time for cinema.  Everyone is breaking out their big guns.  Not the show stopping blockbusters, but the poignant Oscar bait.  This year is no different.  Here’s what The Grid is looking forward to this month:

December 4th:

imageChristmas Eve – Starring Patrick Stewart, Cheryl Hines
Obligatory Christmas movie stars legendary Patrick Stewart. I’d watch him no matter what he did.

Krampus – Adam Scott, Toni Collette
Hiring a bunch of comedic actors for a horror film based on the European legend of Krampus is a fantastic way to reel me in. Death by Christmas!

Macbeth – Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard
Boasting a talented cast of actors, one of Shakespeare’s finest works will undoubtedly be one of the best movies this season.  ***Oscar Bait***

December 11th:

imageThe Big Short – Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling
A fine group of actors gather in a film exposing the Wall Street corruption and the housing market inflation that lead to the crash of 2008. ***Oscar Bait***

In the Heart of the Sea – Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy
Based on the true story behind Moby Dick, Hemsworth takes on a new type of monster unlike any Thor has ever seen. ***Oscar Bait***

December 18th:

Sisters – Tina Fey, Amy Poehler
The long awaited reunion from the two best women in comedy, the movie focuses on one hell of a party and some spectacular cameos.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Boyega, Daisy Ridley
Everyone has been waiting a life time for this movie. We’re no different. Give us stars. Give us wars.

December 25th:

imageConcussion – Will Smith, Alec Baldwin
You know a movie is bound to be good when the NFL personally tried to shut the movie down. ***Oscar Bait***

The Hateful Eight – Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson
Quentin Tarantino tries his hand at a modern spaghetti western, promising us great monologues, a well thought out soundtrack, and a lot of blood. ***Oscar Bait***

Joy – Jennifer Lawrence, Robert de Niro
Following the life of Joy, Jennifer Lawrence tackles the first David O. Russell film featuring a woman front and center. She is still bringing Bradley Cooper along. ***Oscar Bait***

The Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy
A man buried alive and deserted seeks revenge, and more importantly, the elusive Academy Award. ***Oscar Bait***

Did we leave anything out? What are you most excited to see this month? Comment below!

Winter Movie Preview with Oscar Bait