Krampus (Michael Dougherty)

“It’s the season to be jolly…like it or not.” Truman Capote said that. Similarly, we here at Castle Blogferatu aren’t too big on the whole holiday cheer thing. I mean, who doesn’t love keeping Saturn in Saturnalia?

But every year we wait for the Grinch to dump that damn sleigh off of Mount Crumpit. Every year we wait for Rudolf to tell Santa to piss off. Every year we wait for Frosty to evaporate instead of turn back into a snowman.

Every year we are disappointed.

But there is one holiday tradition that remains near and dear to that cold, dark space where our hearts are supposed to be.


Seriously. A demon that comes to drag wicked children to hell? What’s not to love?

So imagine our delight a couple years back when Michael Dougherty made a movie about this merry ol’ scamp. Obviously I wanted to love Krampus. I did. So much. I mean, come on. Michael Dougherty. How great was Trick ‘R Treat?

Alas, it was not to be.

Okay, it’s possible that I’m overthinking this thing, but some of Krampus’s shortcomings are just too much to bear without comment. First of all, there isn’t a single even remotely likeable character in the entire story. Everybody is annoying.

That’s bad enough.

There’s also the Krampus himself. I wanted much, much more. In fact, the aforementioned creatures stole the film from what could and should have been The Big Draw. Instead, it was more of a Big Let Down.

A Santa suit, a couple of horns.

No menace. No leering demon. No birch branches. No tongue hanging out. No basket to carry anyone to Hell. Nuthin’. I don’t even recall seeing chains.

Don’t get me wrong. The flick has its moments, much like Killer Klowns From Outer Sapce does. Both take normally innocuous items and make them sinister. The jack-in-the-box is creepy (as per Horror Rules 4, 5, and 13). The gingerbread men are sufficiently evil looking. And the teddy bear could easily take a side job in Five Nights At Freddy’s.


Still, if there’s one overall bright spot, it’s the classic Saturday afternoon horror/sci-fi ending. You know the type: the very last scene in which the alien/monster/evil spirit triumphs, implying doom for, at the very least, the protagonist(s), or at the very most, the entire world.

Dead Of Night did this. So did the 1978 Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. So did “The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill.” And Night Of The Creeps. And Splinter, Slither, Life.

You get my point.

2 thoughts on “Krampus (Michael Dougherty)

  1. Bah humbug.

    (If you haven’t already, I recommend to watch some Krampus videos on You Tube from actual Krampus night festivities in Europe. Highly entertaining, more so than most movies I’ve seen lately.)


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