Krampus (2015) Review

Krampus (2015)

Directed by Michael Dougherty

Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.

My Opinion:

I was really excited about going to see this one. A Christmas horror comedy with an evil creature??? Oh my god – I thought it could be the next Gremlins! Well, damn – it’s certainly not as good as Gremlins but I did have fun with it.

This was an odd one. I like “odd” but what I mean is that it was a bit all over the place as it didn’t seem sure of what it wanted to be. It’s certainly much more a comedy than a horror so anyone going to this expecting a violent, gory horror film may be disappointed. Heck, I’d say that the Gremlins kitchen scene is actually much more violent than anything in Krampus. But the tone of Krampus makes it seem like it has a slightly older target audience than Gremlins even though the overall theme is quite “young” and it starts out as a pretty typical family movie. Plus the main star is much younger than Zach Galligan was in Gremlins (although they have a similar look & hairdo):

The problem with Krampus is that I honestly don’t know who I could recommend it to. It’s too scary for older kids, teenagers may be a bit bored, horror lovers won’t like the lack of gore, and comedy lovers may not find it funny enough. I don’t mean to sound negative about it, though, as I did enjoy it. I just think that only a select group of people will like this one. I’m guessing that people my sort of age who grew up liking things like Gremlins will be the ones who go for this.

Krampus feels like it has come straight out of my beloved Eighties and, if it had, it would be a cult classic now. Having been made in 2015, however, may keep this from achieving that status as I’m not sure the current generation will latch onto it. It has very few votes on IMDB (but a decent rating for a horror at 7/10) & it was showing in a very small screen in my cinema even though it just came out last Friday. It’s a shame it’s not getting more attention but I suppose it’s a bit niche.

Krampus starts out pretty damn good. It starts out exactly like a lot of my favorite (and very American) Christmas movies. Most notably: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We get all the typical Christmas stress & annoying relatives who really don’t get along with each other but get together anyway as it’s Christmas. It had a very promising start and I was surprised that it was so heavily focused on “family” and that it felt like something the whole family might watch together. At first…

As expected, this movie gets a bit bonkers about halfway through. Well, I think it was more than halfway and a big part of this film’s problem is that it took too long to get crazy. It goes like this: family comedy… family comedy… family comedy… family comedy… family comedy… family comedy… family comedy… WHAT THE FUCK?!… sudden & disappointing ending. I can’t say it due to spoilers (even though only one or two people here would even know what I’m on about) but I think the director watched the finales of too many 80’s TV shows to come up with that ending. Quick! Someone my age watch this & tell me what the ending made you think of!


I don’t know why so many of my reviews end up sounding quite negative. I didn’t mean for this one to sound that way as I did like Krampus. I think I “appreciated” it slightly more than I “liked” it, though. I love the fact that this was made, at least, and want to see more films like it. I’m a big fan of horror comedies (I did a Top Ten HERE and, yes, Gremlins was number one). I think my expectations were too high so that’s why I sound slightly disappointed.

I’d have also liked to see them either up the comedy or up the horror as they didn’t get the balance quite right. The Christmas themes were rather sweet & heartfelt but the director not concentrating more on just one of the movie’s aspects meant that the movie suffered a bit due to a lack of focus. I should point out that the director also made Trick ‘r Treat, which I’ve not seen but I know it has its fans on these blogs. I’m now interested in seeing Trick ‘r Treat to compare the two.

I’m not sure if Krampus will become a Christmas classic that I watch every year but I certainly wouldn’t mind watching it during the holiday season every once in a while. Don’t let me talk you out of seeing it if you think you’d like it as some of you will love it (and, yes, some will hate it). If you grew up with 80’s movies I think it’s more likely that you’ll be the type to appreciate Krampus (especially when it gets a bit crazy in a great, cheesy, retro way). I just wish the madness had started earlier & gone on for far longer.

My Rating: 7/10

49 thoughts on “Krampus (2015) Review

  1. “The problem with Krampus is that I honestly don’t know who I could recommend it to. It’s too scary for older kids, teenagers may be a bit bored, horror lovers won’t like the lack of gore, and comedy lovers may not find it funny enough.” – Very insightful 🙂

    Also, that Rudolph jumper the kid has is hilariously cute

  2. Oooh I don’t know whether to see this now! I started of as a no, because I’m too much of a wimp for horror, but if this is more comedy than horror it could be a winner for me. Great review!
    – Allie

  3. Nice review Miss Mutant! I’d certainly enjoy this I think, even if just a one-off watch for the giggles 🙂 I guess they can roll movies out like this pretty easily at Christmas, even if stocking filler presents are slightly more memorable! What’s your all time favourite Xmas film? 😀

  4. ‘I don’t know why so many of my reviews end up sounding quite negative’

    It’s because you’re an old Scrooge. I’m going to come into your bedroom covered with chains. Whoops, i drifted into my erotic fiction mode there!

  5. Looks like my cup of tea too. Good review. Like you said, who is the target audience? Not too many movies like Gremlins out there. I’m surprised it ranked so high in its opening weekend. I guess more folks than I thought like this sort of twisted approach to holiday movies.

    • Thanks! This sort of thing is totally my cup of tea so I knew I’d be going to it as soon as I heard about it. 🙂 Glad some others have given it a chance too! I want more films like this. I just wanted it to be a bit better than it was. But I still had a fun time with it.

  6. I still haven’t decided if I should catch this in theaters or not. You make a really interesting point about the audience issue. I wonder if horror movies have that issue more. Comedies probably do too I guess. (Also i have the same issue. All my reviews of movies I like end up being negative and movies I hate somehow seem positive).

    • Well, I did enjoy this but it’s not really one you’d have to rush out to the cinemas to see. People are definitely picky on horror – they always seem to have the lowest IMDb ratings. Comedy as well – it must be hard making a movie in those genres that will please everyone. lol – glad I’m not the only one who sounds negative for movies I like & positive for ones I don’t! I seem to just pick them apart more when I like them and try to talk myself into liking a movie a bit more when I don’t…

  7. There are two kinds of movies in my world now. Movies I don’t care about and movies I would see if I didn’t have a family holding me down. This falls into the latter. Nice to hear something good about it when I finally do see it on Netflix in 2019.

    On a related note, is Gremlins a Christmas movie, or a movie that occurs with Christmas as a backdrop (like Die Hard, which is decidedly not a Christmas movie. At all. And I don’t know why some people insist it is.)

    On an even more unrelated note, is The IPC still around?

    • Lol! Aww… Your family won’t “hold you down” forever. 😉 I remember the first movie I watched after having a kid. It was six months after I had her & I felt massively guilty for watching a movie! It gets easier once they start school & go to clubs & things – you get a little free time back. Plus, as they get older you get to watch better movies with them. 😉 My kid has great taste in movies! I’m very happy she likes Studio Ghibli & more and more live action stuff now. She adores Labyrinth! As for Gremlins, I don’t personally think of it as just a “Christmas” movie first of all (I’d probably leave it out of a top ten if I did a list of Xmas movies). But it has such an obvious Christmas backdrop that I can see why people do consider it one whereas Die Hard is stretching it. I’d love to know your thoughts on Krampus when you see it (in 2019!). 🙂 Yeah, Eric is still around but not able to be on the blogs very often because he got a new job & I think he travels a lot. His job is based in New Jersey, actually!

      • Well, the good news is my daughter loves Batman and at 2 years old can rattle off about 25 superheroes on sight (including Dr. Fate, which is the comics equivalent of knowing the prime minister of any country in Africa). She also loves shouting STAR WARS! when a commercial pops up, and thinks the new droid is a snowman, so she’s already on the right track.

        The Movie Squirrel, meanwhile, likes Lifetime, and the less said about that, the better.

      • Who the hell is Dr. Fate?? 😉 Your daughter is way cooler than I am! I took the kid to The Force Awakens. She was fully dressed as Rey. It was adorable. 🙂 Hehe…. Yeah, Lifetime movies… Oh how I miss those since moving to the UK! (Okay, not really. Maybe just the Nancy McKeon ones) 😉

  8. I have been looking forward to this because I LOVED Trick ‘r Treat, and I am excited to see what the director does with this. We will have to see. Great review!

    • Thanks! 🙂 Hmm… I really want to see Trick ‘r Treat now to see if they’re similar or not. I think Krampus has such an 80’s feel to it that I’m not sure how younger people will feel about it (because I’m old). 😉 I’d be very interested to know what you thought of this one! I’ll definitely check out Trick ‘r Treat the second I see it available to watch.

  9. Yeah, I have to say you’re right-on with it not knowing who to really cater to. It’s not funny *enough* to be outrageous comedy (though that whole bit about David Koechner getting his ass kicked by Christmas cookies had me rolling!), it’s not truly brutal enough to qualify as horror, and it’s not quite cheesy enough to be B-movie schlock, which I think is what it’s most trying after. Too whacked-out for little kiddies, not full-on enough for jaded adults. But I’m with you in the end, I enjoyed it enough for what it did ultimately offer. 5/8 from me.

    • Tom! I tried to reply to your Dumb & Dumber comment on your blog but was having problems so I apologize if the comment went through 50 times or something. 😉 Have you reviewed this?? I’m so behind. 😦 Can’t wait for December to be over! I’ll be raiding your blog at some point – want to see your Good Dinosaur review too (I’ve still not seen that). Glad you enjoyed Krampus okay – sounds like we feel the same about it. 🙂 I’d have loved it if it had gone full-on cheesy. It’s a shame it only goes partway on everything it tried. The movie was fun but needed some balls to make it into something that would end up a proper cult classic.

      • Mmmmmyyyyeeaisssssssss. . ..

        The Good Dinosaur was perfectly pleasant (for me anyway, I’ve been seeing a lot of people pissing and moaning about how it’s not Inside Out).

        As for the comment thing, I’ve actually started closing comments on posts that are two weeks old. It’s just easier that way for me to make sure I haven’t left comments unreplied to. I feel guilty when I go back in my history and see a bunch of comments I forgot to respond to. 🙂

      • Ahhh – good idea! I have such a hard time keeping up on replying to people. Plus I’ve noticed that the trolls like to comment on really old posts. Like the person the other day who told me I was a disgrace & should shut my blog down. Bwahaha! #LoveTrolls 🙂

      • Trolls are great. I had one the other week that ripped apart my review of Night People. The guy turned out to be a rivaling Irish director who, judging by his displeasure with seeing another filmmaker’s work making it onto an obscure blog like mine, got very jealous. I hate trolls but sometimes they can be funny 🙂

      • Ha! Really?! Can’t be a very successful director if they have time to go trolling on blogs. 🙂 My second favorite was probably the one who ripped me apart for trashing Oz The Great & Powerful. Lol. Chill, people! 🙂

  10. Pingback: My Top Ten Christmas Movies | Cinema Parrot Disco

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  12. Reblogged this on Cinema Parrot Disco and commented:

    Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas! Oh… Wrong holiday? Oops. Well, as this is a Christmas “horror”, I figured I could get away with reblogging it for October Horror Month.

    I ended up watching a 2007 horror film last night that for some reason passed me by at time of release. It’s the perfect thing to review on Halloween, so I’ll be reviewing it tomorrow. As it shares the same director & writer as Krampus (Michael Dougherty), I thought it made sense to reblog this one even if it happens to be set at Christmastime.

    Merry Halloween Eve, everyone! See you tomorrow for two more reviews: A Michael Dougherty film that’s actually set on Halloween and a Blind Spot review of a 1960 black & white French horror classic. Weird combo, I know. Do I know how to party or WHAT?! 🙂

  13. Pingback: Trick ‘r Treat (2007) Review | Cinema Parrot Disco

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