Time For A New Project- Horror 365 Movie 1: Krampus

What’s in the box?!?!

This box contains 1100 strips of paper. Each one bears the title of a horror movie I’ve seen. Why? Well, thank you for asking.

I’ve been pretty unfocused writing-wise for a while, hopping from one thing to another and unsure what to do about it. Then I stumbled onto Struthless.

In one of his videos, Campbell Walker talks about having this very problem and how an illustrator friend of his suggested drawing the same thing every day for a year. There’s more to it than that, so, yeah, check him out.

My immediate thought was, “Hey, I can do something like that. Hell yeah!”

So I took all the movies from The Neverending Movie List and put them in that box. With some exceptions (maybe a specifically chosen title or theme here and there), every day I’ll pick a title out of the box, write it up, and post it. Every. Damn. Day.

For a year.

And what better time to start than right now, Friday, December 5, Krampusnacht? And already I’m making an exception because what better movie to review on Krampusnacht than Michael Dougherty’s 2015 Krampus?

I mean come on. Every year all of us here at Castle Blogferatu 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 Krampus, that’s the one holiday tradition that remains near and dear to the cold, dark spaces where our hearts are supposed to be. Seriously. A demon that comes to drag wicked children to hell? *chef’s kiss*

Imagine our delight when Michael Dougherty made a movie about this merry ol’ scamp! Obviously I wanted to love Krampus. I really wanted to. So much. Trick ‘R Treat am I right?

Alas, it was not to be.

I’m possibly overthinking this, but some of Krampus’s shortcomings are just too much to bear without comment. First of all, despite even the fine efforts of Toni Collette, everybody is annoying. Nobody’s even remotely likeable.

That’s bad enough (maybe it’s also the point).

There’s also the Big Bad himself. I wanted much, much more than than a coupla horns and a ratty Santa suit.

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 is enjoyable, silly fun. It has its moments. Much like Killer Klowns From Outer Space, normally innocuous items become sinister. A carnivorous jack-in-the-box? Plenty creepy. Homicidal gingerbread men? Sufficiently evil (they’re no Gary Busey in Gingerdead Man, but who is?). Toothy teddy? Could easily take a side job in Five Nights At Freddy’s.

These lil devils effectively steal the movie from what could and should have been The Big Draw. Instead, Krampus himself was more of a Big Let Down.

That said, there are other bright spots too. I won’t go too far into these for those of you who haven’t gotten to Krampus yet. I suppose Russell Brand said it best in his comment about Rock Of Ages: “It’s a perfectly good film. I mean, it may not solve the inner torment and angst that you go through as a human soul, but it’s certainly a lovely distraction.”

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