Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Overlook Theatre Reviews: Krampus 2: The Devil Returns

of 7 viewers "Liked" "Krampus 2: The Devil Returns" (2016, USA)
Here's what the creatures had to say:

Math Mage - "In the first Krampus film the criminal had escaped justice due to lawyers and came to get revenge for... not being put in prison? He gets killed; in the sequel his previously unmentioned brother wants revenge for that death. Which would make more sense, except that his brother is also a gang leader with his own crew, in the same town. And he waited to take revenge for 5 years while the cop in question went and lived in the woods (and grew a beard). Cuz that's what you do when you're traumatized by the Krampus and you're certain that your daughter who he kidnapped is still alive: you move to an isolated cabin and grow a beard. Eventually there is a ridiculous chick fight, and some boring gunfights (and Krampus is there too, he kidnaps and murders some kids. That's important I guess). Then there's a "twist" where Santa Clause also wants revenge on the cop for some stuff that was never hinted at before (and he also waited till just now to take that revenge for some reason) and then the movie just ends. A torturous slog of a film but still not the worst Krampus movie (I still have you Krampus: The Reckoning)." - 1 Star

Trash - "I like no-budget movies that a friend-of-a-friend made in their backyard, especially when they really mean it. And I believe with all my heart and soul that the dudes who made Krampus: The Devil Returns really mean it and weren’t just messing around with a camera. Distributed with all the mockbuster finesse of junk your mom accidentally got from the Redbox when she was trying to rent Regular Krampus, I can’t even get the title right without a few attempts. But, damn, stumbling onto this? It feels like gold. We found a sick Christmas treasure. First off, it’s a sequel, which I should have realized because the Christmas devil is returning, but I didn’t see the first one and it didn’t matter. Just know there’s a bad cop and now he’s retired because Krampus ate his daughter, but they never found her body. Now that cop is returning to bumblefuck, PA because Krampus is back and he’s in cahoots with the grimiest Santa Claus in cinema. There’s a subplot with local gangsters that’s pretty thin and will try your patience. But if you’ve ever wanted to see a movie where a sadistic Santa whips kids and screams “I’m a fucking God”, this movie is made for you! - 4 Stars

Lord Battle - "Revenge is a dish best served cold and in Krampus 2 everyone has ordered a serving. The original Krampus is back and doesn't look homeless anymore, actually he has literally moved out of his cave and into a barn! And as a fan of the original Krampus The Christmas Devil I confidently proclaim Krampus 2 as the superior film. Channeling the cruelty of Silent Night Deadly Night, the fun of Jack Frost, and the absentee father of the goblins from Troll 2, Krampus: The Devil Returns is either an indie horror hunter's hidden gem or a small child's worst nightmare." - 3.5 Stars

Huntress - "Part monster movie, part Sons of Anarchy drama, Krampus: The Devil Returns was very ambitious for its indie budget. A lot of the plot was lost in the midst of nearly inaudible dialogue that would test the millennial attention span. But with the right group of Christmas horror loving friends, this would be a fun watch for December. It’s definitely an interesting addition to the holiday horror sub-genre and a very different take on the Christmas devil. Better than part one for sure!" - 2.5 Stars

The Berkeley Blazer - "Krampus 2 is a low budget film with little ambition to make the most of its resources. I gave it two stars because it has some genuinely funny moments both intentional and unintentional that come from our Santa/Krampus family dynamic. The real offenders in this slog were the coterie of limp-spirited and lazily grim protagonists and peripheral bad guy characters whose monotone delivery drove me to the brink of tortured madness. I guess they were aiming for a working class vibe (which had they achieved would have been pretty refreshing) but ended up with low energy Breitbart-reader types. While the spectacular duo of Santa Krampus can't justify the price of admission, they at least make this somewhat watchable. Mustering up the will to even write this little review was difficult for me because I really wish I could just forget the whole affair, so thank god it's over now." - 2 Stars

The Great Hornito - "This rendition of Krampus was not bad considering how low budget the movie is. Krampus and Santa shake up in this Christmas horror movie and I guess Krampus has to provide naughty children to Santa to pay his half of the rent. The police are looking for the children and the kind-of biker gang are looking for the cops and have an all-out freeforall brawl at the end. And it's as stupid and entertaining as it sounds. Krampus 2 also has the best line ever used in a holiday movie, "My momma always told me to fuck what I kill." I can't wait till part 3 next year; "Krampus 3: Son of Krampus"." - 3.5 Stars

Dabbles - Fell Asleep - Default 2 Stars

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

Our local FYE is in the middle of closing and all their DVD/Bluray's are heavily discounted. While digging through endless copies of Twilight and Resident Evil sequels I came upon Krampus 2: The Devil Returns. I had heard nothing of this film's release and knew none of the Overlook creatures had either, so I promptly purchased the nicely packaged DVD with slip cover (which featured a cover art that closely resembled the original film).
Below is an interview with the film creator Jason Hull who, like most indie film makers, was hands on in every aspect of making this film. So who better to direct all of the strange questions that the fiends of the Overlook come up with after watching these hidden indie horrors?

JasonBefore we begin, I want to thank each and every one of you for your questions, and interest in what we do. Words will never express my gratitude for your support in our projects! With each film we try and improve, and I just hope you find some enjoyment in what we do!

Lord Battle - From a horror collectors perspective, Krampus: The Christmas Devil appeared to be another cash-grab at the Krampus craze but a closer look reveals its release was back in 2013 before the wave of anti-Santa stories. How do you feel about this recent Krampus assault and ultimately being grouped in with them.

JasonThanks for recognizing that we were before Daugherty's Krampus. :). Some people have jumped the gun on us, saying we only put this out to grab from the Universal picture.

It's fun to be a part of it. In all honesty, we had Krampus on the radar in 2010. I had a friend who told me about Krampus, and I put him down as the next thing to do. When we finished "The Four" (my second film-no distribution), I immediately started writing K1.

An egotistical narcissistic part of me likes to think we started the Krampus Kraze, which I think will die down in a year or two, but realistically, it was bound to happen. There's only so much you can do - film wise - with Krampus, so from that perspective, I think it'll tame down. I'm just happy that we are even mentioned in the Krampus fun that is going on, and I never would have dreamed we would get this kind of recognition!

Lord Battle - I couldn't have been more surprised when I saw Krampus: The Devil Returns on a rack at FYE. I mean, I personally really like the previous installment but I would have never guessed a sequel would be made! Was Krampus 2 an idea you've been throwing around for awhile or has this script always been sitting on your shelf?

JasonWe more or less decided to do a sequel while we were in the middle of K1. After it was released, we had some positive feedback on it, and let's be realistic... I grew up in the 80's, loving 80's horror. I've always had a dream to have a sequel. Maybe a box set someday. Ha ha.

I wanted to try and make it a stand alone, though. If you saw our first one, great. It'll help a little, if not, no worries. That was difficult to do actually. I had most of the movie done, and AJ (Leslie) came to me with the ending, which is pretty messed up. Filming we had to be careful to get parts across that we didn't want the audience to miss. Like I said, we wanted this to be a stand alone.

Lord Battle - Why did Krampus move out of the Slave Cave? And I just have to say, I love the imagery of Krampus dragging a sack ripe with child to a pond for drowning. Bravo!

Jason - Hey!!!! Thank you! I love that imagery as well! That was my favorite thing from K1 that we shot (and anything with Oberst).

As far as him moving out of the slave cave (great wording),... do you mean from K1 to K2? So, that cave is actually a basement of a bar that we go to occasionally. At the time, they didn't have it finished off, so we were able to go and set up and film away. No one bothered us, so we could leave our stuff there. It was cold as hell though, as there was little heat.

Since Krampus 1, they have finished it off, and they use it on the weekend-and it's not quite the same as it was since it's finished and polished off. Plus, we wanted to have a different spot for him in K2. K1 originally had him in an abandoned barn, so I wanted to move that direction with K2,... plus, it's supposed to be 5 years later... :)

Math Mage - Why do a couple of films about Krampus punishing children have multiple criminal revenge subplots?

JasonGood question. I guess when I write, what comes out, comes out. Ha ha. I love a good gangster flick, so maybe that was in my brain too. I knew when writing that I was going with the "cop trying to find the monster" thing, but I thought we could embellish on that a little and give a little back story too...

Trash - "Why did you want to make Santa Claus so dark? He's an old dude torturing kids, and yelling about being a god. I was even drawing comparisons to OLDBOY, with his specific method of punishing Jeremy. Did you make that connection, or were you just trying to come up with sick things Santa could do?"

JasonI wanted to take what they were supposed to be and completely reverse them. Here's Santa Claus, who is the pinnacle of Christmas, and now he's not what he seems. Then, Krampus sort of has a hard time doing what he does, but he's cursed and that's his job. It's what he does. Ying and yang. And we made them brothers, working together, which I realize isn't the normal "lore," but hey let's mix it up! :)

Paul Ferm who plays Santa is a retired homicide detective, so I wanted to play off of his strengths too. He has a very commanding demeanor, so let's go with it.

Plus, it's fun to twist the norm around, right!?

Great comparison to Old Boy, but I don't think I had that in mind. :)

Huntress - "Why did you decide to change Krampus's look?"

Jason - Well first, the prior prosthetic was dying a slow horrible death, but ultimately, we had a little bigger budget, and we wanted to try and up our game on some things, "His" look being one of them-in all realism, we could have Tom Cruise in the movie, and ultimately it's about the monster. 

Jonathan Thornton did us good, I thought. The K2 prosthetic was heavy as hell and very encasing. It took 2 people to get it on and off, and your neck was sore after having it on! Kudos to Ben Berlin for wearing that crazy thing as much as he did!

- Lord Battle

The Overlook Theatre materialized in a residence for a screening on 12/8/2016
*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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