15 | ★★★★☆
Finally, a film for people who hate Christmas. You know the type, the ones who claim Die Hard is their favourite Christmas film; they’ll love Krampus. They’ll be banging on about it for years. It’s a horror movie of sorts that tells the tale of a horned demon that exists in central European folklore, also known as Santa’s shadow, who punishes disobedient children. Where Santa gives presents, Krampus takes souls down into the fiery underworld. And you thought a lump of coal was harsh.
The action focuses on the Engels family, who hate Christmas because they have to spend it with their hill-billy cousins. It’s made worse when an incredible blizzard cuts off the power, heralding the arrival of Krampus and his sackful of creepy critters. You don’t know the true meaning of Christmas until you’ve seen a grown man fire a shotgun into a gingerbread man’s face.
It pulls together an intelligent cast, led by Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine) and Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation), but the monsters really make the movie. It’s refreshingly light on the CGI, recalling 80s classics like Labyrinth and Gremlins. It’s brutal at times, too, with main characters getting casually gobbled up along the way. Krampus is a fun festive fright fest that’s miles away from the cheerless cheese often served up at this time of year.