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Krampus (2015) is a Christmas-themed horror film directed by Michael Dougherty for Legendary Pictures. Distributed by Universal Pictures. Written by Todd Casey, Michael Dougherty and Zach Shields. Starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, and Krista Stadler.

Legendary Pictures’ Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas.  Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers.

All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

Rated PG-13. 98 minutes. Watch the official trailer here …

Film links: website/Facebook/Legendary Pictures

My thoughts… Michael Dougherty’s Krampus is my new favorite Christmas-themed horror film! It delivers holiday cheer for horror fans with its dark tale of Alpine folklore’s ant-Santa Claus! Krampus will be, from this season on, essential viewing in December like Dougherty’s cult film Trick ‘r Treat (2007) is, for me, in October! In Krampus, young Max rips up his letter to Santa after his nasty cousins ridicule him for still believing in St. Nick. Soon, a freak snowstorm engulf the town, and a power outage follows. Then Krampus appears to punish Max’s family for losing hope in Christmas. The horned demon brings an army of evil elves and a bag full of holiday helpers with him, including mischievous gingerbread cookies, a demonic doll, a killer robot, a Teddy bear with a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, and Jack-in the-box that swallows children whole! Krampus isn’t exactly scary but it’s a whole lot of creepy holiday fun! The screenplay is witty, especially in the open sequence which tosses a satirical barb at Christmas consumerism as shoppers battle it out to the tune of Andy Williams’ perennial favorite “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”! In addition, the ensemble cast is fantastic, especially Adam Scott and Toni Collette as loving but stressed-out parents Tom and Sarah, and David Koechner as Sarah’s obnoxious brother-in-law Howard. Of course, Parks & Recs‘ Adam Scott is great in anything! However, as good as the cast is, the biggest treat in Krampus is the film’s haunting atmosphere and freaky visuals after the darkness takes over the town. The snowstorm feels like the mist enveloping Bridgton, Maine in Stephen King’s The Mist but, instead of bringing otherworldy monsters, it brings nightmarish Christmas things! The only image I didn’t like was Krampus jumping from rooftop to rooftop as it chased Tom’s teenage daughter Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen) through the empty streets. It was too cartoonish to be frightening but, overall, the effects were awesome. Oh, and speaking of Beth, I loved the scene where Sarah hangs up her family’s portrait taken with Santa Claus and notices that Santa is looking at Beth’s ass! Next year, I’ll be watching Krampus after A Christmas Horror Story (2015) for a double-shot of awesome Krampus horror!

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I went to see Krampus with my 12-year-old daughter Gaby and her two friends Hannah and Nicole. They enjoyed the movie as well, especially the cruel Twilight Zone-esque ending! The film isn’t exactly family-friendly but, at the same time, it kind of is. A Christmas Horror Story is far less family-friendly!

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