After living in his brother Santa Clause’s shadow for so long, Krampus, the black sheep of the family is getting his turn in the spotlight. A central character in A Christmas Horror story and the title beastie in the upcoming film from the director of Trick R Treat Michael Dougherty as well as several lower budget efforts like this one.
This one tells the tale of a young girl who’s foster parents, (and anyone else who pisses her off), keep meeting gruesome ends. It seems she has a bond with the Krampus and calls on it to take care of “bad” people. When a social worker starts to dig into this string of deaths she becomes next on the beast’s naughty list.
The film is directed by Robert Conway who earlier this year gave us the found footage film The Encounter and before that the Kane Hodder crime flick, Exit to Hell. They were ok for what they were, not great but certainly watchable, (and I rarely say that about found footage stuff), this time however the results are pretty bad. Part of the problem is the Krampus is barely in the film, either by action or appearance. It’s mostly about detective work and unraveling the mystery of the foster parent’s deaths. And we know from the opening scenes what is going on. There is a twist nobody will see coming at the end, but by that point most people won’t care either.
The other problem is that the Krampus is in it at all. I know I frequently spout about bad CGI, but this is some bottom of the barrel stuff. And the actual design of Krampus is very weak, like a wimpy little brother to the one in Christmas Horror Story. It really is mess. The little bit of gore in the film is passable but that’s not nearly enough to carry the film.
For those wondering there is some skin, two sex scenes. But the actors/actresses in them are probably not who you want to see take their clothes off. I actually have to give Conway props for using people who look like real people in those scenes, but I’m guessing most people will not be so thrilled about it.
The acting is about on a level with the effects, there’s a reason most of the cast is unknown. And likely to stay that way. This is dinner theater acting at best.
This could have been an ok film with a bit more budget and a script polish, but as it stands it’s a mess. Let’s hope his contribution to the forthcoming Breakdown Lane is more like his older films and less like this one, or his career may come to it’s own unpleasant reckoning.