It’s December 1st so I decided to start a series of Christmas Movie Mania posts. You can prepare for tons of holiday films this month 😉
However, with the this movie I wasn’t really sure whether to include it here or in my Halloween series. Let’s explore Krampus, an interesting merge of horror and holiday!
It’s Christmas! The family is preparing to celebrate the holidays, relatives are already arriving. Well, Max loses his festive attitude as everyone is quarreling. Enraged he rips his letter for Santa to shreds. Soon after mysterious and frightening things begin to happen. Max’s Austrian grandmother seems to be the one to offer an explanation…
I was super-excited about this film. Not only does it merge your typical Christmas movie with something rather unusual, I was eager to find out what would be told about the Krampus. For those of you who don’t know: this is actually an Austrian thing. St. Nicolas (not to be confused with Santa Clause, in Austria that would be the Christkind) gives candy to the kids who behaved well on December 6th and is usually accompanied by the Krampus, a rather frightening figure (half goat, half demon) who punishes the children who misbehaved.
So, in this movie the whole Krampus thing was most definitely americanized. It differs substantially from the original thing but hey, I’m prepared to overlook that. There were quite a few things I really liked about this film: First of all the humor. Thankfully this movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and has some jokes despite the dark atmosphere. Another point I really appreciate is the casting. An Austrian actress was chosen to portray the grandmother (this may sound logical but believe me, in Hollywood people usually don’t give a shit about authentic casting). Therefore whenever she says something in German it is the real deal. However, I had to listen four times to figure out what Adam Scott tried to tell us in German 😛
Furthermore, someone made quite an effort with presenting the Krampus legend. When Omi (Austrian for Grandmother) explains what it is about we get some lovely pictures that are simply cute (if you manage to ignore what she actually tells us).
While the rest of the movie may not be the most frightening or the most innovative I really appreciate this different take on both horror and Christmas. It is a neatly made film with great actors and an atmospheric score. Although it fails to fully convince as either horror or holiday movie, Krampus is a decent film.
So, if you are tired of your cookie cutter holiday flicks, this one is for you to check out. It is funny, it is scary, it is heart-warming. And hey, you might even learn something about Austrian culture and folk tales. 😉
Did you watch Krampus? Let me know what you think in the comments!