Krampus, the myth, has become very popular in recent years, likely as frustration with life has risen during trying times. While I can’t be sure, it felt like Rare Exports kicked off this trend, and now there is a flood of them.
This particular entry has its moments, but it is closer to a Tale From the Crypt episode than a great movie, despite the cast that is top-lined by Toni Collette (Lucky Them) and Adam Scott (Black Mass), as well as the delightful Krista Stadler. But the point of view is really from young Emjay Anthony (Chef), which adds some innocence and a sense of holiday wonder and guilt. That innocence could have added a deep layer of horror, but instead it muted the events and made them more palatable.
This is director Dougherty’s second swipe at a tradition, the first being Trick ‘r Treat. But while his Halloween offering was surprisingly solid, Krampus just doesn’t quite feel either satisfying nor real. The lack of impact was due to the broad approach to the, admittedly, bizarre situation.
As a distraction around the holidays from overly-sweet fare, it might work for tweens (with a gore and language tolerance) and above. It isn’t horrible, but it just isn’t adult enough or clever enough to fully satisfy either.