Comedic tone ruins horror potential


Taken from the movie’s trailer courtesy of Universal Pictures, Max Engel (Emjay Anthony) comes face to face with the Christmas Devil himself. “Krampus” came out on Dec. 4.

By Kyle Paup, Editor in Chief

With the holiday season arriving, “Krampus” tried to introduce a horrific theme into the joyful season in a way that hasn’t been seen before. If it hadn’t fallen so short in its delivery, it would have done just that.

The film is based on the tale of the “Christmas Devil” known as Krampus. While the story is lesser known than other traditional Christmas tales, he is an actual figure to the holiday outside of the film.

He is designed to essentially be the opposite of Saint Nicholas. While Saint Nicholas is portrayed as a more heavenly figure, Krampus is portrayed as satanic.

If the purpose of the idea of Santa is to make kids happy at the thought of being rewarded for being good, the purpose of Krampus is to make kids tremble in fear at the consequences of being bad.

While the horror film had the opportunity to be an original film based on an untold story of Christmas, it ended up failing in introducing an ironic theme into the joyful season.

Krampus, as the title character and mythological figure that the movie is based on, is hardly in the movie which was incredibly disappointing. What adds to the disappointment the most was the senseless build up to Krampus’ reveal.

The movie is named after him, and over an hour of the movie is spent creating suspense to his character being shown in full. As the movie finally reaches the climax and he is revealed, little does the audience know that the movie is just minutes away from ending.

Seeing as the movie was so awful until the reveal, most viewers probably lost interest by this point anyway.

Instead the movie focuses more so on Krampus’ minions, which was a horrible mistake considering that the animation of the demonic holiday themed characters had about as much quality as one could expect from a film project assigned to a student in high school.

That goes without mentioning the poor design of the character of Krampus himself. After hiding his face for a majority of the movie, it is safe to assume that the audience was expecting something more significant than an angry looking Santa with the legs of a goat.

If anything the movie was only entertaining in regards to how ridiculous it was. In the end the most fun that was able to be had with the movie was making fun of it in the theater after giving up all hope that it would turn out to be good.

The movie tries way too hard to be funny in a movie that was made to look scary in the trailers.

This is a constantly recurring theme among horror movies now, and this is not a good thing. So many movies in the genre rely on comedy to try and cover up the filth and keep audience members from realizing how awful the movies really are.

“Krampus” was previewed as a scary movie, but the end result was nothing close. Take away all the nonsense, the jokes, and the horribly animated abominations that were Krampus’ minions and nothing is left but a sad excuse for a movie of any genre and a waste of money.

It’s the sort of movie that squeamish people see so that they can pretend that they can stomach scary movies and feel proud of themselves after they finish watching it.

Scary movies tend to have characters who don’t make the best choices, but this movie takes the stupidity of certain character’s choices to a whole other level.

One slightly redeeming quality that “Krampus” had was an ambiguous ending that forces viewers to think about the movie for an extended time afterwards.

While this kept with the tradition of leaving endings up to interpretation set by many great horror movies before it, it was only redeeming for the moment. The more thought put into the ending, the less sense it appeared to make.

“Krampus” was too afraid to take itself seriously and resorted to comedy to make sure the audience knew that it was aware of that. But that is not what the audience wanted.

Krampus is a real figure to the lesser known story of Christmas, and if the film would have had the guts to take itself seriously and explore other possibilities, it would not have been such a let down.