Slay ride

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 2015 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD

Di­rec­tor Michael Dougherty Cast Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Em­jay An­thony, David Koech­ner

Af­ter tack­ling Hal­loween with port­man­teau pic Trick ’ R Treat, di­rec­tor Michael Dougherty sets his sights on the fes­tive sea­son. Draw­ing on folk­lore, he tells the story of a dys­func­tional fam­ily who re­ceive a visit from Fa­ther Christ­mas’s dark shadow – a crea­ture that pun­ishes the wicked and dis­be­liev­ing.

Kram­pus shows up when young Max ( Em­jay An­thony), dis­mayed by his rel­a­tives’ be­hav­iour, de­cides he no longer be­lieves in Santa. Cue a mys­te­ri­ous bliz­zard and Christ­mas- themed beast­ies who, with their master, take peo­ple out one by one.

Dougherty’s clearly hav­ing a lot of fun, and pulls off some ef­fec­tive frights with a blend of prac­ti­cal ef­fects and CG trick­ery. A smart move was cast­ing peo­ple who make their funny char­ac­ters en­ter­tain­ing be­fore the snow picks up and the scream­ing starts.

The blend of com­edy and hor­ror doesn’t al­ways work, leav­ing Kram­pus feel­ing a lit­tle dis­jointed – but you’ve got to re­spect a di­rec­tor who com­mits to the dark­ness in­her­ent in the tale.

Ex­tras An en­ter­tain­ing com­men­tary from Dougherty and his co- writ­ers; fea­turettes on the ef­fects, stunts, crea­tures, pro­duc­tion de­sign, cast and Dougherty’s “vi­sion”; deleted/ ex­tended scenes; al­ter­nate end­ing; gag reel. James White

Aus­trian tra­di­tions in­clude Kram­pus Runs, where boys aged 14- 18 walk the streets dressed as the crea­ture.

Things were look­ing up.

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