Naughty or Nice?
The setup of the film is great. Krampus could easily seem cliched in the typical holiday family beginning, but Dougherty manages to transport you into this family's Christmas seamlessly enough that you get caught up in all the drama. The intrigue and mystery of what will happen next carry you along incredibly well, until midway through the film when it starts to be a little frustrating that the characters are acting too smart for the usual horror film scenarios. The middle portion of the movie I did find myself wondering when the good stuff was gonna start. But once the film does starts rolling, it's a real ride! Vague spoiler alert (highlight to read) The ending might seem a cop-out to some, but as it IS a holiday movie, I was much more forgiving... (end potential spoiler) That said, me and my pal Kent totally interpreted the ending in completely different ways, so it's anyone's guess as to what REALLY happened. The fact that such different interpretations occurred regarding the ending is honestly wonderful for such a film.
Krampus treads lightly on a very delicate line; it easily could all go wrong at any moment...and somehow it doesn't. Dougherty balances the act of being a horror film, a comedy, and a Christmas movie in a way that not many movies would dare attempt. Some might not think he pulls it off, but I thought Krampus handled all genres in such a way that they even manage to complement one another. The horror elements don't feel out of place in this dark Christmas fable, and neither does the comedy when things get downright ridiculous. Besides the Dougherty's directing, Krampus might not have been able to pull off this feat if it weren't for its solid cast. Toni Collette and Adam Scott are pretty much likable in anything, and David Koechner, if given the right material, can really shine. The young cast and all the supporting players are all good too. No one is given a ton of depth here, but everyone manages to shine and have a good time. They take the film completely seriously so you don't have to. Krampus plays things so straight which is bound to throw people off who are wishing for more horror or more comedy. But if you go along with it, it's a fun ride. EMILY RATING: 8/10