Monday, December 7, 2015

The Overlook Theatre Reivew: Mike Doughtery's, "Krampus"

of 8 viewers "Liked" "Krampus" (USA, 2015)
Here's what the citizens of the Overlook Theatre had to say:

The Impostor - Perfect balance of horror, comedy, and Christmas spirit. Krampus is a new Christmas classic. Definitely one I'll rewatch every year, like Micheal Dougherty's Trick 'r' Treat. My only cons would be how slow it seemed in some moments as well as I wanted more Krampus throughout. Overall a solid new addition to the holiday horror sub genre." - 4 Stars

Speed Demon - "Slow and draggy at times wishing it had a faster pace. However, story wise, it was great. Definitely another Christmas movie to add to the pile  you watch each year. Even non-horror fans will enjoy this one. Great for everyone. Loved the mini animation story of the grandmother's memory. It had a Tim Burton kinda feel to it. The atmospheric darkness of the movie was perfect. One part that stood out for me was when Krampus was running from rooftop to rooftop. Very coooool. The CG wasn't too bad and decent. Instant Christmas classic, fun." - 4 Stars

KillDozer - "As a creature kid who also happens to be a big fan of Christmas, it has been a life long dream to one day see the Krampus in all his glory portrayed with proper respect in a film. At 35 years old my dream has become a reality! Krampus manages to remind us of the true horror humanity brings to the holidays during the opening credits and only gets darker as it continues. The political satire and social commentary is eerily accurate and relevant, yet quite a lot of the comedic elements are oddly placed and don't always work. What does work in all the right ways are the practical effects and creature creations that will keep that holiday smile on every monster kid's face. The pacing also feels off throughout the film, dragging at some points but when the action hits, it hits hard and without mercy, which is shocking for a PG-13 film. Krampus left me wanting more and excited for a director's cut. I was thoroughly satisfied with the dark tone, solid child acting, clever writing and honest message. I can now add this title to my seasonal classics with all the joy and happiness a monster kid like me can have during this time of the year. Happy Krampus horror nerds, have fun with it and spread the cheer!" - 4 Stars (Collection worthy and a solid Christmas party movie)

Lord Battle - "Brilliant imagery, amazing practical effects, and Mike Dougherty's vision of Christmas is more than enough to make up for the often flat punchlines that litter the film. This will be somewhat of a major disappointment to more than a few people, given the filmmaker's choice of casting two very well known comedic actors as dramatic leads. With that said, Dougherty has managed to replicate an 80's Amblin film which is no minor accomplishment. Krampus starts like the beginning of Home Alone but then starts you on an adventure that mixes films like The Mist, Gremlins, and Poltergeist. Also I have to add that Krampus may contain some of the most Metal imagery every committed to celluloid" - 4 Stars

Huntress - "It's extremely exciting to see horror bleed into the Christmas season on a larger-than-indie scale, and the fact that Michael Dougherty is behind it just reassured me that it was going to be done right. Those were my thoughts on the way to the movie theatre and they were proven to be completely accurate. Krampus combines elements for horror and non-horror fans, Krampus faithfuls and those who have never heard his name before watching the film. The comic heavy cast was a weird choice to me, especially since the comedy feeling of the film really only lasted through the first quarter of the movie. I don't think I would call this a horror comedy at all, to be honest. The gorgeous practical creatures in the film were revealed in a way similar to Adam Green's Digging Up the Marrow, and they all looked perfect. Dougherty captured every element that should be in a well rounded Christmas horror film." - 4.5 Stars

Math Mage - "I couldn't help thinking of this film as a video game. How different choices would have had characters die in a different order, leading to different scenarios. This impression wasn't helped by the tacked on optional endings. Krampus did a better job than most of making me care about the characters so it should have felt more scary when they died. Instead the Christmas theme kept me thinking that they'd be rescued, or come back to life, or it would all be a dream. This killed any chance of fear or even tension. Still a well done film with cool creatures (though I am so sick of the split jaw). But it's not going to become a Christmas tradition." - 3 Stars

The Creature of the CombiCombs - "I loved this movie. This is definitely a must watch for anyone looking for a good holiday horror. The monster designs were great, very creepy. There are some great moments in this one but it isn't without its flaws. There's some good suspense throughout but more times than not those suspense building moments drag on for too long. Fortunately the film makes up for it with some awesome horror filled action. Aside from the pacing in parts, this movie was everything I was looking for. As far as must see Christmas movies go, Krampus is definitely high on that list." - 4 Stars

Ice Giant - "Krampus was the perfect holiday movie for this year. The PG-13 rating had me a little worried but they push that rating to it's limit. Krampus and all his helpers also looked amazing, the fact they went with practical effects and very little CG made it that much better." - 5 Stars

The Overlook Theatre Final Rating*
(Below is for after you've seen the film)

Krampus opens with a slow-motion shot of a sadly familiar scene, Black Friday. As people stampede towards discounted merchandise, Bing Crosby sings his Christmas classic "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas". The stark juxtaposition creates an atmosphere of dread as our festive song transforms into a haunting hymn of happier holidays past and those familiar with director/writer Micheal Dougherty know this heinous new tradition can't go unpunished. It still seems hard to believe that the journey this family took all happened in one film and for the most part within their house. This is exactly the feel Dougherty was going for. A big fan of Amblin Entertainment and 80's cinema in general, Dougherty was looking to make the type of film that used to be abundant, but that you just don't see anymore. Films like Gremlins, The Goonies, and Poltergeist all started with a very safe family-movie vibe but ended up taking you on a fantastical adventure that was anything but safe. I'm not sure if it's our hyper sensitive culture that keeps these films from being made, or our inability to sit still till the monsters show up, but as a child I constantly dealt with the latter dilemma. I would watch Ghost Busters over and over, but once the librarian ghost was off camera, I'd return to playing with action figures till the next creature appeared. I believe I had a similar experience with Krampus.
As a huge South Park fan, I've always loved celebrating the material worship of the holidays with graphic imagery of Black Friday, so I naturally loved Krampus' opening. Yet I somehow ended up reverting back to my 5 year-old self shortly after. I can only explain this as a subconscious reaction, or maybe it's just that I took a while to warm up to the cast. No matter what the reason is, everyone who went to the theater December 3rd had that same complaint. Most people referred to the problem as pacing, which I think is incorrect. The problem that everyone was trying to articulate had to do with tone. I like to refer to the tone in Krampus as a pendulum swing, since it starts in a very safe place but eventually ends up with practically satanic imagery (this is a good thing). I'm not quite sure this is a choice Amblin would have made but then again Gremlins did have that story about a father dressed as Santa dying in a chimney... 

- Lord Battle

*Based on the star ratings turned in by character reviewers, others viewed and got to "Dislike" or "Like" but that does not effect the rating.

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