Movie Review: A Christmas Horror Story

The latest in the anthology trend, Directors Grant Harvey, Steve Hoban, and Brett Sullivan brings you interwoven tales that take place on Christmas with a little horror twist. While there are elements of creativity here the movie as a whole just didn’t have what it took to leave an impression.

This movie is told in 4 tales from the perspective views of high schoolers who investigate an urban legend, A family who sets out to the woods to get the perfect Christmas tree and return home with more than they bargained for, Krampus himself bringing the pain to a spoiled sinful family, and old Saint Nick himself dealing with zombie elves.

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Movie review: Krampus

Krampus gives us a look into an urban legend played out on screen with little laughs, a few scares, but with a great lesson to be told. Love thy family during the holidays or you are doomed.

For those that know me, they know that I love a good horror movie. If I am not being scared by them than I would rather have a laugh and a good time while watching. Michael Dougherty co wrote and directed this fun horror comedy once again involving one of the greatest holidays of the year. Before it was Trick r’ Treat, which has become one of my favorite movies of all times. Now it’s Krampus.

Related: My top faves of Anti-Christmas movies. Those darker movies that still gives you that Christmas feel.

This movie shows what happens when you decide to be naughty for Christmas and don’t have the Christmas spirit. This tale focuses on a very Dysfunctional family who get together every year for Christmas but would rather not be with each other as there is lots of resentment, jealousy, and hate throughout the members. In the center is Max (Emjay Anthony), a hopeful child who still believes in Santa, even though he is old enough to know he is not real and is the only one that wants the family to get along and have Christmas be like it use to be. Unfortunately, the family brings his spirits down and instead of being hopeful he is full of rage and accidentally summons the demon Krampus to wreak havoc on the family.


“His name is Krampus. He and his helpers did not come to give, but to take.”

If you think your family is bad, this family led by Toni Collette & Adam Scott will make your family look like the Brady Bunch. Right from the start we are given plenty of examples as to why this family needs HOURS of therapy. That pretty much takes the first 20 mins of the movie. You will get most of the laughs during this time segment.


(Left to Right) Toni Collette, Emjay Anthony, Allison Tolman, David Koechner, and Concheta Ferrell

Each family member with their own way of making your jaw drop in shock or a good laugh with blunt honesty in regards to each other. Once the demon is summoned, I’ll tell you the first appearance of the Christmas ghoul is definitely creepy. Bringing his helpers and bags of tricks keeps you interested in “what will they come up with next” feeling. When you think horror comedy you think you are going to get cheesy effects or laughable deaths but this movie actually took a serious tone in my opinion. The family drama was real, the danger and the need to take care of each other was real as well.

They used less CGI and more practical effects. I thought that was a great idea. Something you would see out of a Jim Henson film but darker. Think Dark Crystal mixed with Demonic Toys. Kudos if you know what those movies are. There is a flashback sequence that I think gives the movie a unique signature to what Dougherty’s work is. All the actors held their own. I really enjoyed Emjay’s (Max) acting in this. That kid is going places. Seeing as this movie is PG-13 you are not going to get the creative bloody murder you saw in Trick r’ Treat but the suspense is still there. This is definitely a great example of what a Anti-Christmas movie is giving you creepy and camp all with Christmas songs and a whimsical score in the background to make it authentic. While I could have used some more fright in this film I didn’t find this a waste of time at all.

+1 Fun and camp through and through
+1 Great acting for a horror comedy. You care for this family
+1 Nice fun script and intro to the Krampus story
+1/2 recommendation. This movie isn’t for anyone that is looking for a bloody horror movie. More camp than frightening.
0 replay value. Not worth seeing more than once.

Total 3 1/2 points out of 5 points Camp but not much laughs. Suspense but wasted opportunity on horror.

What did you think of the movie Krampus? Geek out in the comments. Thanks for reading.

My top Anti-Christmas movies

With the release of Krampus. Here are my recommended Anti-Christmas movies for those that want to shake things up in their holiday viewing.

Bad Santa (2003) Rated R

This movie was hilarious from start to finish. Billy Bob Thornton plays a foul-mouth drunk named Willie who hates Christmas so much he posses as a mall Santa just to steal all the profits from the mall and run with the money. This guy makes The Grinch look like a saint. He unexpectedly meets a kid who actually believes he is Santa and changes his view on Christmas and life. The journey getting to that point has a lot of “earmuff” moments. This movie doesn’t hold back as they committed all of the 7 sins twice or more while still giving you the feels. There is a great cast supporting Billy Bob including the late Bernie Mac as the Security boss that suspects Willie is up to no good.

Just Friends (2005) Rated PG-13

Ryan Reynolds plays a former fat kid who had a crush on his female best friend. When he comes clean about his feelings and is rejected. He vowed to never be treated like that again. So he moves out of his hometown, becomes hot, successful, and a womanizer. However, his job has him returning to his hometown where he becomes the high school kid that he was before still crushing over his former best friend and feeling like that scared guy who can’t make a move. Oh and this all takes place during Christmas time.

So good. Lots of hilarious physical comedy in this one. Even though the film is PG-13, this is not the family friendly holiday movie for the whole family. Ryan Reynolds doing what he does best with a supporting cast of your favorite 2000’s stars Amy Smart and Chris Klein. Anna Faris made me cry in laughter with her role in this. A must see in my book.