By Declan Chin & Noah Miyamae
A Christmas horror-comedy inevitably seems like a conceptual failure. But while the genre blend raised many questions among potential viewers and critics alike, Krampus does a serviceable job in delivering an enjoyable Christmas movie.
Krampus follows the story of two in-lawed families spending Christmas together, despite obvious animosity between them. A young boy named Max (Emjay Anthony) finds himself in the midst of this conflict, and longs for the old days when his family got along. The feuding families ruin his holiday spirit, and an evil Christmas entity named Krampus subsequently decides to torment both families.
The film walks the line between cheesy and funny on several occasions. Elaborate costumes and exaggerated characters create a silly atmosphere. For the most part, however, Krampus excels on the comedic side, fueled by actors Adam Scott and David Koechner. These two, coupled with several other supporting actors, manage to carry the film despite the bizarre plot.
One notable aspect of the film is its use of practical effects. Many of the evil beings, including Krampus himself, are played by real actors with masks. With most movies switching to use of computer generated images (CGI), Krampus feels as if genuine effort went into production, a feat that sets the holiday film apart from others in its genre.
Krampus plays a unique role in ushering in the Christmas season. Despite its subject matter, the movie still manages to make audiences thankful for the holidays and serves as an adequate introduction to the winter season.