I guess i really should review a Krampus movie that’s actually about the Krampus creature this year, and i’m fairly sure i didn’t watch this already under a different title, so it’ll do…fine, i hope.
During World War I, a group of American soldiers storm a German bunker, finding there a mysterious book that can summon the ancient evil of the Christmas Devil, the Krampus.
The men are killed in action, and the book is sent to the commanding officer’s widow, whom has just taken up the role of teacher at a Catholic orphanage. One of the orphans there gets a hold of the book and accidentally summons the Krampus, forcing them, the teacher, nuns and priest to face it.
It’s fairly ambitious compared to many other Krampusxploitation films, as it’s a period piece set during WWI….so i feel bad having to say that it’s not enough to actually make it much better than most other Krampus movies, because it’s also very dull, full of unlikeable or uninteresting characters, and i’m not gaga for thr “orphanage drama” that makes for most of the movie.
It doesn’t help that it takes the movie a half-hour to connect to the prologue and steer in the direction you would expect.. well, kinda, it’s basically a Goonies-esque situation with a supernatural bent, a bit of The Omen thrown in and an interesting choice of setting, so it’s not a bad idea, the acting it’s surprisingly competent, the cinematography is actually decent for this type of production.
Though it takes forever for the Krampus itself to show up, and one wonders if the director and/or crew even knew what the Krampus is to begin with, since it barely even factors in to the plot, they remembered to have the summoning happen on Christmas’ Eve, at least, but the lore it’s pretty loose, so you could have easily swapped “Krampy” for a generic demon with no real consequence.
But it can’t simply be, since the script is provided by director-writer Robert Conway, behind Krampus The Reckoning and Krampus Unleashed. Eeven if it’s directed by Joseph Mbah, it reminds me of Krampus The Reckoning, because there’s little to no reason for this to be about the Krampus.
Yeah, this is technically the better movie, as in, it has better acting, presentation, a better idea at the core, but sadly i think Conway delt better in trashy cheap horror, because this attempt at a more refined, “classier” movie just result in a very dull movie with a really awful script, that also stretches itself thin in order for the runtime to be slightly over 80 minutes.
Most of it spent waiting for the Krampus to show up, which it does. 1 hour in, after some POV shot with a shitty After Effects filter… and you know what, have a look, but keep in mind that it’s still MILES better than that the digital turd of a “Krampus” featured in Krampus The Reckoning.
Definitely not worth the wait, even if the moment when we see the creature in full display looks like Damien summoning his Stand, it’s a textbook example of “too little and too late”, all made worse by the overly brash anticlimatic final confrontation with the creature, all with very little in the way of blood or gore too, which would be fine if the movie was shorter…. and less bland.
The “Zelda CDI” style ending and the awful special effects don’t help.
I really didn’t want to bash this one, since i respect its attempt at something more ambitious for the standards of these Krampus, i do, and it’s not totally unwatchable, i’ve seen plenty worse, but its misguided attempt at a more composed, serious horror thriller just hurts the movie and makes it a very dull experience that feels longer than it is, so the decent acting and mostly competent presentation are welcome but just are not enough to elevate it from a very subpar rating.
Sadly, a boring dud you can easily don’t bother with, i would recommend doing exactly that to be brutally honest.