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New Release Review - KRAMPUS: THE RECKONING (DVD)

A young girl and her 'imaginary' friend, the folklore monster 'Krampus', punish the naughty.


Review by Emily Craig (@emillycraig)

Directed by: Robert Conway

Starring: Monica Engesser, Amelia Haberman, James Ray


"For a film about Krampus, we never get to see Krampus for much of the film at all; this is probably because it looks ridiculous. I can’t get over how terrible the CGI is."





Based on Alpine folklore, Krampus is the sidekick of Saint Nicholas who punishes the children who have been badly behaved during the Christmas period, whereas St. Nick treats the good ones. Krampus: The Reckoning is based on this folklore and follows a young girl named Zoe (Amelia Haberman) who has an “imaginary” friend named Krampus and together they set out to punish those who have been bad.
There haven’t been many films about Krampus and so this film is to be praised on its original concept; it’s a coincidence however that there is a larger budget film named Krampus coming out later in the year starring Adam Scott and Toni Collette – I guess it’s becoming popular! So, in theory making a Christmas horror film about this mythological creature is a good idea; in reality this film falls flat.
The actual writing isn’t so bad, it’s well paced and has a decent plot twist. It isn’t just a menacing creature killing those for fun, there’s reasoning and a well thought out story to it. It’s everything else that turns this film into a complete mess, the biggest problem being the titular creature itself. For a film about Krampus, we never get to see Krampus for much of the film at all; this is probably because it looks ridiculous. I can’t get over how terrible the CGI is. For a creature in a film to have some fright factor, it has to look somewhat believable – this was laughable. He merely snarls at his victims for about two seconds before they burst into flames and burn (how terrifying); I would have liked to have seen a bit more personality to this character.
The acting isn’t terribly good either; it’s mediocre at best. Amelia Haberman I guess does a good job at completely freaking viewers out and James Ray, who plays Detective Miles O’Connor (a policeman investigating the murders), by far delivers the best performance. I can understand the film wasn’t made on a large budget but if you’re going to make a small budget horror film, it's best not to use a concept that will heavily rely on CGI that you can’t afford to execute well.
If it were me, I would skip this and go straight to its higher budget competitor, because even if that’s not good, at least it will have a better developed creature that lives up to the mythology.

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