When thinking of Christmas, most people think of jolly ol’ St. Nicholas, or, in other words, Santa Claus. Yet, in 19th-century Europe, Santa was not the only one the people thought of.
Krampus, otherwise known as the “Christmas Devil,” was a European, and primarily German, belief. It was said that he collected, beat, and then dragged naughty children to the underworld in baskets. Not many people had heard of this legend, until Dec. 4 when Krampus took to the big screen worldwide. Judging from the folklore, many were expecting to be shaking in their seats, yet all they got was disappointment. If not disappointed at some point earlier in the movie, the unoriginal and somewhat confusing ending would be sure to do the trick.
It all starts with a family that has been drifting apart, much to the dismay of the youngest son. His Christmas spirit has declined, and he is beginning to question, “Is Santa really there?”. His spirit is helped not one bit when his cousins, aunt and uncle arrive to spend Christmas with them. With his two tomboyish cousins confirming his disbelief, his note to Santa is torn and thrown out the window into the winter wind, this summoning the sinister force. Krampus wreaks havoc amidst the family, with disappearances and attacks from his demonic gingerbread and toy helpers. The movie follows the family through their battle with the Christmas devil and is seems to show that nothing good comes of losing hope.
The movie does bring out the ending to the old folklore, but not as extravagantly as would expect, or as any horror lover would hope. Many of the moments that would be expected to make one jump out of their seat were hinted at, therefore losing the jump factor completely. Also, there were very few clear shots of Krampus himself. Many were dark and had bad lighting, which might have been a shot to add horror, but did nothing except get very annoying. Most of the events throughout the movie were repetitive, such as the constant return of the demonic gingerbread men, and the thought of going out to get help was dropped and brought back up again and again. Many events were unoriginal as well, such as the “Ten Little Indians” idea, where each time a family member would disappear miraculously, a very creepy like snowman would appear in the yard. The subject of this movie may be something not often seen, but everything else is nothing not seen in an below-average horror flick.
Article and photo by Natalie Lindsey, newspaper copy editor