KRAM­PUS

Jin­gle hell

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - The fig­ure of Kram­pus stretches back cen­turies in Ger­manic folk­lore. 5 De­cem­ber is Kram­pus Night.

re­leased out now! 15 | 98 min­utes Di­rec­tor Michael dougherty Cast adam scott, toni Col­lette, david Koech­ner, al­li­son tol­man

If you thought Grem­lins had a twisted view of what makes a good Christ­mas, brace your­self for Kram­pus. Forged in the im­age of that Joe Dante clas­sic, its as­sort­ment of fes­tive fiends are a snow­bound night­mare as young Max (Em­jay An­thony) and his fam­ily bat­tle the tit­u­lar anti-Santa.

What’s most sur­pris­ing about Su­per­man Re­turns/X-movies co-writer Michael Dougherty’s film is just how dark he pushes the win­try frights. Early scenes re­call Home Alone as Max’s ma (Toni Col­lette) and pa (Adam Scott) wind up host­ing half the fam­ily over the fes­tive sea­son. Squab­bling kids and booze­happy aunts are the least of their prob­lems, though, when Max in­ad­ver­tently sum­mons Kram­pus, a horned mon­stros­ity with an army of ra­zor-toothed nas­ties. When they’re fi­nally un­masked, th­ese most­lypros­thetic crit­ters are a grim delec­ta­tion, while an an­i­mated in­ter­lude amps up the in­ven­tion.

With its bliz­zards, creepy snow­men and gung-ho cast, there are mo­ments where Kram­pus scrapes the un­der­belly of bril­liance. A slow-burn mid-sec­tion and a try-hard cli­max limit its im­pact, mean­ing this isn’t quite a fes­tive clas­sic, but it sleighs, ahem, slays the ma­jor­ity of re­cent Christ­mas movies. Josh Win­ning

“If you want to see Ru­dolph again...”

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