Critic Consensus: Krampus is gory good fun for fans of non-traditional holiday horror with a fondness for Joe Dante's B- movie classics, even if it doesn't have quite the savage bite its concept calls for.
Tickets & Showtimes
Watch it now
as Aunt Dorothy
as Perchta the Cherub
as Howie Jr.
as Baby Chrissy
as Wasp Mother
as DHL Man
as Der Klown
as Ruprecht the Elf
as The Yule Goat
as The Yule Goat
as The Yule Goat
News & Interviews for Krampus
Critic Reviews for Krampus
Conjuring up the tongue-in-cheek malevolence of Gremlins, family horror-comedy Krampus unleashes a cloven-hoofed monster and his evil minions upon a squabbling American family.
I loved how director Dougherty played with conventions and inherent lunacy of Christmas.
[Its] monsters are a wondrous mix of practical and computer-generated effects, ever-captivating as they plague a suburban family trying to celebrate the Holidays.
Michael Dougherty's Krampus... is still a perfectly suited and crafted holiday-horror entry that manages to serve up just enough comedic darkness and gritty tension to keep audiences satisfied.
Audience Reviews for Krampus
A couple of steps away from the typical Christmas film, shades of Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Tim Burton burbling in the background, and perhaps worthy of a once-a-year revisit, a Christmas tale that goes "boo!"
Not quite funny enough and not quite scary enough, Krampus is a holiday antidote that wants to be a modern-day Gremlins but needed to be nastier, darker, or some variant with the suffix of -er. Writer/director Michael Dougherty has been down this holiday road before with Trick 'r Treat, a superb horror anthology gem that was buoyed by a twisted sense of humor and a clever criss-crossing set of storylines that pollinated plenty of payoffs. Krampus begins with a brilliant opening credit sequence that sets a high bar or promise the movie will ultimately be unable to deliver, watching slow-mo stampeding shoppers fighting over Black Friday discounts set to a classic Bing Crosby yuletide tune. From there it's more a Griswald dysfunctional family gathering until one of the young boys rips up his letter to Santa in disillusionment, calling forth Krampus and his minions. From there the family is terrorized and come closer together in struggle, trying to understand their predicament. There are a few great character designs for the minions, especially a jack-in-the-box whose face unhinges into a sarlac pit of teeth. The PG-13 rating keeps the film from getting too gory or too wicked, which also belies the fact that at heart it's really an old-fashioned Christmas morality play about loving one another. I was ready to groan with what appeared to be the ending but Dougherty at least subverts the expected and makes sure that there are lasting consequences for bad behavior. This isn't going to be remembered as a holiday classic but if you're looking for a fun horror comedy, Krampus at least has something to offer before you feel left wanting.
Nate's Grade: B-
With "Gremlins" in mind, a touch of "Christmas Vacation," and even the cliched heart borrowed from "The Polar Express," director Michael Dougherty (of Trick r' Treat fame) creates this inspired 80's throwback horror film about the legend of Krampus. The legend says that if you are nice, Santa will still come, but if you are naughty, Krampus will come and take everything you love, including the lives of the people around you. From the practical effects to the eerie score and set design, this film looks and sounds beautiful. Sadly (for me at least), that is where the greatness ends. Borrowing so much from other classic films, it was hard to get into every aspect this film had to offer. The characters were enjoyable enough and the cast did their best, but the plot just does not offer enough to be great. This film will receive cult status in a few year for sure, due to it's indie vibes. Overall, "Krampus" is a very enjoyable Christmas Horror flick that has too many borrowed elements to become a classic on it's own. In the end, I would recommend it, but only to those who know what they are in for.
Discuss Krampus on our Movie forum!