All you holiday haters out there who are too busy crying into your oatmeal because Mommy and Daddy didn’t get you what you wanted for CHRIST’S MASS when you were a kid.. BEWARE. This is here a fine and fandangled diatribe that surrounds Krampus, the 2015 holiday horror that has.. well at least a few people talking. I mean.. I’m not really into holiday films but come on – KRAMPUS is the Christs Mass devil and really if anything gets Christian’s up in arms, it’s the devil, and I’m all for rustling some Judeo-Christian jimmies.
Holiday horror is always a real gem – you’ve got Black Christmas (which is my Dad’s favourite movie, so I dunno what that says about our family..), Silent Night Deadly Night, Santa’s Slay, Elves, Jack Frost, Rare Exports.. all that jazz. The thing is – most of these flicks aren’t really too great – campy for sure but generally suffer from the whole dead in the second act thing that seems to plague a lot of horror films.
When I saw the trailer for Krampus it was right before my last little adventure to see Paranormal Activity The Ghost Dimension and easily the best part of PA:GD was seeing the Krampus trailer. Krampus is a figure that has been gaining popularity as of late, within the last five or so years. Considered to be the Germanic/Bavarian accompaniment of St. Nicholas tasked with punishing wicked children, Krampus is more devil than man. While my grandfather and his family grew up believing in the wicked Krampus, the tradition of Krampuslauf and Krampusnacht was largely outlawed in Austria in 1934. The modern revival of this ancient tradition is something of a return to the Earth, and a return to our pre-Christian heritage. Our Christian friends seem to forget that the Christ’s Mass, is actually stolen from Yule, Jul, and celebration of the winter solstice, mourning the loss of Baldr, Odin’s brightest son slain by an arrow of mistletoe.
Like I was saying earlier, I’ve heard a lot of gripe from the anti holiday crowd and look, we get it.. Here’s the thing though, Krampus was really great. I went in with zero expectations and was pleasantly surprised which in this depraved world we live in – is super rare. Generally my personal motto with all new horror movies is to just flat out assume the worst, and especially with something like Krampus – the whole of the internet has seemingly decided that since the story of Jesus is stupid as fuck and stolen from older better sources in a kind of religious plagiarism, to embrace ye olde Krampus. Here’s the thing too, my grandpa grew up with Krampus. Get him drunk and he will tell you all about the horrors of growing up believing in the shaggy punisher.
Michael Dougherty directed this year’s holiday delight Krampus and if you recognize the name, it’s because he also wrote and directed Trick ‘R Treat.
I liked Trick ‘R Treat. I thought it was really understated and didn’t necessarily get all the acclaim that it deserved.. meanwhile there’s garbage heaps like Insidious that everyone collectively pisses themselves over and like four sequels have happened that make no fucking sense. Okay. Here’s the thing horror fans, Insidious is awful. James Wan is a terrible director and potential pervert. Just stop. You make us all look bad by proxy.
Anywho, please join me for some holiday devilry:
Also. This is a movie review from DIAG – it’s going to have spoilers. If you don’t want spoilers, perhaps stay in a closet and eat Cheerios for the rest of your life, but.. hey what do I know. So here’s your spoiler alert.
The movie opens with a massive riot at what appears to be Black Friday sales and a little boy dressed as Joseph during a nativity play beating the shit out of his schoolyard chums.. Nothing says Christmas season like violence and borderline retarded behaviour.
The little Mike Tyson in the making is Max, who is a little boy of about ten years old that despite a lot of social prodding still believes in Santa Clause and the wonder of Christmas. Max’s family is having one of those good old fashioned family Christmas’s Griswold family style where everyone shows up and invades a home for the holidays. It sounds and looks like pure Hell, but that’s aside the point.
Max’s mom is played by Toni Collette and some of you may recognize her as the mother in the film Little Miss Sunshine, and she also plays the lead role in the United States of Tara.
But the real winner here is Adam Scott, who plays Max’s father Tom. Adam Scott. Hot damn gorl, MEGUSTALATIONS for being a hot AF DILF. For those of you playing the home game, Adam Scott played Marvin Bushmiller, the smarmy as fuck artist in the wonderful film Art School Confidential. His role in the film is extremely brief but he’s a total jackass and it’s quite amazing.
Anywho, little Max really has his Yuletide faith tested with the arrival of his hillbilly cousins who humiliate him at family dinner by reading his letter to Santa Claus to everyone which sucks.
Max has a meltdown and tells everyone he hates them and stomps off to his room and tears up his letter and throws it out the window where a storm cloud gathers and it begins to snow.
What Max does not realize but in his renunciation of his true faith in Saint Nick, that this has summoned the Krampus. Max’s gramma who is called Omi is from Austria and she speaks kindly German is generally a hard as fuck old lady from the old country.
Let me tell you this, when I was little my grammy used to beat me senseless when I misbehaved, and she was from the Ukraine. She had no problems scaring the living fuck out of me with stories about the Baba Yaga and Genny Greenteeth. My grandma scared me and still scares me. Don’t fuck with old European women. Don’t.
Anywho, the coming storm knocks out the electricity and the Max’s fam jam are left without much to do but huddle together in the whitest home ever and watch shitty movies on their dying iPads. With battery lif a precious commodity, the family begins to notice things are seemingly amiss. The teenage sister Beth (why is every stupid person on TV or in films named Beth.. looking in your direction Walking Dead) wanders off in a blizzard to go find her boyfriend and his candy cane bong, but the real thing is that girl is just thirsty for some away in the manger D.
Beth is the first of the family to see the hooded goat figure of Krampus and takes cover under a car only to be attacked by a Jack in the Box.
The family back at home is taking turns chilling out and watching old episodes of the Dukes of Hazzard or whatever white trash rednecks do, and Max and his grandma both wander the house freaking out. Gramma goes a bit senile and gets obsessed with the fire in the fireplace and demands that the fire be kept hot.
Uncle moron and sexy AF dad decide to go rescue Beth from a good holiday pile driving and set out after her in a crazy AF snowstorm, but once they roll out to her boyfriend’s place they find some pretty weird items like a gingerbread cookies stabbed through the fridge, and then you know – uncle hillbilly gets his leg almost chewed off by crap lurking in the snow. A typical holiday, truthfully.
Anywho, back at home after having his leg fixed up, uncle moron falls asleep on the night’s watch and down the chimney comes a big ass hook baited with Christmas baking – everyone’s one true weakness.
The little moron cousin gets up and takes the bait and ends up hauled up the chimney to meet good Krampus. There’s much screaming and fuckery and old Granny takes this moment to tell us all about her childhood experience with the Krampus. As she drifts off into a flashback sequence the movie becomes an animated short, which actually looks pretty good. In her youth it turns out that granny once wished for her family to be taken away for Christmas, her whole village had forgotten the holiday spirit. Turns out that the Krampus came and took her whole family to Hell and left granny here so she would remember to not be a piece of shit. Pretty intense stuff right. As if surviving Hitler and Nazi Germany wasn’t enough for one lifetime, Christmas demons, fuck yeah let’s just throw all that in there too.
Anywho, everyone seems to accept this pretty well at first and then BOOM, all these fucked up presents come alive and start straight up fucking with this family. Gingerdead men with candy cane shivs, horrible Jack in the Boxes, living dead christmas angels.. shit gets FUCKED.
The family tears off down the road while dropping like flies until it’s just Max and one of his cousins left. The horrible elves make off with the whole family and Max is left with his granny’s old bell that reads Gruss Vom Krampus (Greetings from Krampus).
Max hears the echoes of his Granny’s voice saying that she was left alone to remember what happens when one doesn’t believe. Max chases after the Krampus, bent on getting his family back.
Here’s the thing – Krampus looks DOPE AS FUCK. He looks like a frozen frost bitten corpse of Saint Nick with horns. He’s horrifying and slack jawed amazing.
Max makes a plea to the Krampus to give back his family. Max apologizes to Krampus and starts to cry. The Krampus wipes away his tear and he and his elves laugh maniacally. Okay also – the Krampus has a sleigh crewed by huge BAD ASS RAMS OF HELL. Seriously, Krampus needs to start a metal band called Jingle Hell. I’d be so down!
While the Krampus laughs, Max defiantly rages for the Krampus to take him instead of his family and throws the bell of the Krampus to him which opens up a pit to Hell. The Krampus happily obliges and throws Max down to Hell.
And here we go friends. Are you ready? I’m going to reveal the ending here. If you have not seen the ending of Krampus and wish to save yourself the surprise, please stop reading and come back later.
Okay. I warned you. If you ruin this, you did it all yourself.
Max wakes up after a fall analogous to Satan’s from heaven, and finds that it is Christmas morning. He ambles downstairs and finds his family intact and getting ready for some present opening. He acknowledges that he has been dreaming. He opens a present that contains the single Gruss Vom Krampus bell and all of a sudden the voices of his family begin to silence and they remember the horror from the night before.
The camera pans out.
The family home is shown to be inside a snowglobe belonging to the Krampus who are then played on a crowded shelf in the Krampus’s work shop. The family goes to Christmas Hell.
Best ending possible.
I was a touch concerned with the 14-A rating on this film that this movie would opt for that happy holiday ending, and it doesn’t. As soon as the dream scene happened I was like oh fuck come on.. no way.
But when we were left with that eerie feeling of the Krampus, I was so fucking pumped. Not a lot of movies opt for that ending, instead desire to wrap everything back up nicely.
This film was great. Flat out. I heard a lot of mewling online about people saying this movie sucked, but really, I’ve never steered you fuckers wrong before. Krampus was a highly entertaining flick and both Scotty Floronic and myself were beyond pumped after seeing it.
I highly recommend this film. Grab your friends and your drunk Gramma and go watch it. It’s got enough horror to satisfy a horror fan and enough Christmas holiday camp to satisfy mom.
With that in mind my little friends – drink all the egg nog, hold your family close, keep the fire hot, and ALWAYS STAY SPOOKY.
Until next time.