tek's rating:

Krampus (PG-13)
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So... this is about Krampus, a very old mythical demonic creature that is essentially the opposite of Santa Claus, which has become popular in recent years. However, Krampus himself plays a smaller role in the film than I would have liked. But... it's okay. It was still a fun movie, in large part because Krampus's minions were amusingly deranged twists on Christmas-y... things. (I should also mention that while Krampus has his own night, Krampusnacht, on December 5, this is still technically a Christmas movie. Although I watched it on Krampusnacht 2016, a year after the movie was released.) Oh, and I should mention it was directed (and co-written) by Mike Dougherty, who previously made the Halloween movie Trick 'r Treat. (It'd be interesting to see how many other holidays he can make horror movies for.)

A few days before Christmas, various members of a family get together for the holiday. There's the grandmother, Omi Engel, who mostly speaks German though she clearly understands English. And there's her son, Tom (Adam Scott), and his wife, Sarah (Toni Collette), and their teenage daughter, Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen, whom I knew from Running Wilde, though I didn't realize it was her until after I watched the movie, when I was looking up the cast online), and younger son, Max. They're joined by Sarah's sister, Linda, and her husband, Howard (David Koechner, whom I've surely seen in various things), and their son, Howie Jr. (who never speaks in the film), and two daughters, Stevie and Jordan (who are very guy-ish, apparently because Howard wanted sons), and baby, Chrissy, and an aunt named Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell), and a dog named Rosie. No one in Tom's family really likes anyone in Linda's family, and the reasons for this quickly become obvious. The most important reason, plotwise, is that Stevie and Jordan make fun of Max for still believing in Santa Claus. This ultimately leads to him ripping up his letter to Santa and throwing it out the window, thereby abandoning his Christmas spirit, or whatever.

The next day, there's a major blizzard that cuts out the power, phones, and everything. Beth goes out to see if her boyfriend, Derek, who lives a few blocks away, is okay. But before she can get to his house, she sees the Krampus leaping from roof to roof, and starts running back towards her house. She doesn't get there, and eventually her parents and brother start to worry about her. Tom and Howard go out to look for her, and... that doesn't go so well. They return home, and start boarding up the house, but that doesn't really help much. Because some of Krampus's minions are already inside, and those that aren't still have ways of making trouble. Eventually, Omi tells a story to the family (in English), of an encounter she'd had with Krampus when she was a little girl. (While she narrates, we see it acted out in a sequence that I wasn't quite sure whether it was stop-motion or CGI.) And... well, the family does its best to fend off the various minions, and eventually Krampus himself. But I don't want to divulge any more details of the plot. (I will say that after the movie, I watched a bonus alternate ending, which was kind of pointless, because it was exactly the same as the real ending, except it stopped a bit earlier. It still gives the sense of something being not right, though unlike the real ending, there's no explanation for that sense. If the intention was to... I don't know, be ambiguous about whether or not it was a happy ending, I'd say it utterly failed. But I can't imagine any other intention. As for whether or not the real ending was happy... that I won't spoil.)

Anyway... the movie had its share of humor, and I guess it was scary, if you can find away to suspend disbelief and put yourself in the place of the characters, and sort of ignore how redonkulous it all is while still finding humor in how redonkulous it all is. But if you can't... I'd still say it's fun. Especially if you like your movies weird. Oh, also... a few of the minions had voices that reminded me of 'member berries, from season 20 of South Park, which they wouldn't have done if I'd seen the movie in 2015. And, as usual, I feel like I'm forgetting things I wanted to say. But whatevs, the important thing is that I liked it. Oh and there's a graphic novel based on the movie, which contains four short stories that tie together in the end. (It has nothing to do with the people in the movie, just with Krampus and his minions, putting the scare into various new characters.) It was okay, I guess, but not nearly as good as the movie itself.


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