“If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen, and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow… It can happen every day, you’ve just got to want that feeling.”
– Bill Murray in SCROOGED
That’s right – it’s time to feel the moment and that holiday spirit thing. It’s time for Spoiler Free Review’s 12 days of Christmas 2022 edition! We will be posting our favorite holiday experiences with 12 reviews and illustrations of movies, TV, and music. So sit back, enjoy some spiked eggnog, and enjoy to SFR’s 12-days of Christmas 2022! 🎅
What starts out as a dysfunctional family Christmas movie quickly dissolves into a holiday nightmare as the Engel family fend for their lives against festive murderous minions, evil baked goods, and the “Shadow of Santa Claus,” AKA the Austro-Bavarian demonic spirit, KRAMPUS.
The 2015 movie from Michael Doherty (TRICK ‘R TREAT) harkens back to such horror comedies as GREMLINS or POLTERGEIST, turning up the fear volume ever-so-slightly. The movie explores the consequences of not only being naughty but also fully rejecting the spirit of Christmas. Starring the likes of Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner, the movie succeeds in showcasing the stresses of a holiday spent with family with its tongue firmly planted in cheek throughout, knowingly commenting on the ridiculousness of its subject matter.
For a horror film rated PG-13, it’s still effectively frightening at times, even if the movie’s a bit flawed and uneven. Shaky, unclear cinematography distracts from some very impressive practical creature effects, and every time I watch it, I wish the narrative were just that much stronger—the pacing is a little off. All that being said, it’s a clever, fun, and at times even silly (in the best way possible) Christmas horror movie that deserves more of a classic reputation than it gets.
KRAMPUS is currently available to stream on Peacock.