As one demon-like creature to another I respect the Krampus. The only thing I don’t enjoy is his constant forcing of children into Hell. The amount of lost children running around down there has increased 10-fold over the last 40 years. It is a bit ridiculous for my taste. Suffice it to say that I was ready to see what the movie about my fellow horned comrade had to offer and I was not disappointed.
Krampus, in this demon's soulless eyes, is a holiday movie akin to Gremlins. The movie has parts that require you to hold your disbelief that a small, easily kickable creature is causing this much havoc and just accept that people are actually scared out of their minds. The other side of this coin is that some of the small creatures are just terrifying in Krampus and that was an awesome thing to behold. The movie escalated very well. From the first kill to the last it steps up the amount of tension and the interaction between the characters makes you actually kinda feel bad when they are gone.
Do not get me wrong, this is not really a gory, gross, edge-of-your-seat horror film. There are not a lot of moments where you are truly fearful for your life vicariously through the protagonists, and there is nothing but a few jump scares that make the movie fall into that category of horror. The one redeeming quality is, again, that the creatures are just creepy as all hell. On top of the fact that, the movie uses mostly practical effects for all their creatures, you have a great combination for being thoroughly creeped out.
The films story is a bit contrived and full of “lessons” but the ending is kinda clever considering that most holiday horror films (sans Black Christmas) have happy lessons at the end where everyone learns something. The movie will get mixed reviews based on its ending alone I believe, and I cannot wait to see what people say.
As a side note, I noticed some people who did not know about the Krampus mythos before seeing the movie being confused as to the level of horror. This is an interesting point as the movie follows the Krampus lore pretty closely, so if you are expecting a kill fest with lots of seriously disturbing stuff, this is not your film. However, Krampus is a wonderful holiday horror film which I will be adding to my yearly watch list.
Horror Qualifier: 7/10
Horror Quality: 5/10
Film Quality: 5/10