One of the best aspects of this series is that it’s given me the opportunity to dive into films I might never have gotten around to otherwise. (Over the course of writing for Deja View, I’ve had the chance to watch some fantastic horror classics as well as some 90s movies that have only partially aged well.) Naturally, when I learned that there was a more modern addition to the category of “horror movies that happen to take place around the holidays,” I had to add it to my viewing list.
Turns out my timing for watching Krampus couldn’t be more perfect considering that December 5th is traditionally known as Krampus Night, during which this sort of “anti-Santa” figure punishes kids who have been naughty all year. A dysfunctional family coming together at Christmastime and facing a scary horned demon? Sign me the F up.
1. Ah, there’s really nothing like a holiday movie that kicks off with a slow-mo montage of Black Friday shoppers assaulting each other to the tune of “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas.”
2. I’m predicting the point of this movie will be that everyone is terrible and they deserve what’s coming to them, courtesy of Krampus? Just a hunch. Because people are terrible.
3. Grandma is making batch after batch of cookies with no one to help. So relatable.
4. Oh, the grandma is Tom (Adam Scott)’s mom. And she’s German. I’m starting to connect the dots.
5. Tom’s children with Sarah (Toni Collette) include a snarky teenager named Beth and a young boy named Max who beat up a bully for ragging on Christmas, AKA a True Believer.
6. Also, Max and Grandma are the only True Believers, which I’m thinking is going to come into play in a big way when Krampus shows up.
7. Beth FaceTimes with her boyfriend and the only detail I notice from this conversation is that dude has a candy cane-snowman bong. ‘Tis the season.
8. This movie also stars Allison Tolman, AKA my favorite police chief from Fargo? I knew watching this movie was an ace decision.
9. There is a bulldog named Rosie with an elf hat THIS IS NOT A DRILL. This probably doesn’t need to be stated, but if something happens to Rosie I will riot.
10. Linda and Sarah are sisters?! Chalk up yet another reason for this movie being a gd delight that deserves to win awards.
11. “No gun talk at the dinner table” is a line that was just uttered, though I’m pretty sure it has to be an enforced rule based on this extended family.
12. I’m going to have to agree with the delightful Conchata Ferrell (who plays the ornery aunt): who doesn’t make ham on Christmas? Such a travesty.
13. Max’s mean girl cousins (who are all dressed in camo, by the way), steal his letter to Santa and read it out loud at the dinner table and all I can think is that none of my cousins were ever this mean and I seriously lucked out.
14. Tom refers to family as “people you try to be friends with even though you don’t have a whole lot in common” and I have never felt so seen.
15. If this were any other holiday movie, I’d expect some sort of reconciliation by the end but we know Krampus is coming so it’s more likely that these people are going to die brutally.
16. Max rips up his letter to Santa and throws it out the window, where the pieces get sucked up into the sky and then somehow… turn into snow? I never knew snow could be so foreboding.
17. This family has the creepiest Advent calendar in existence.
18. Twelve people are stuck in this house with no power, no cell service, and no electricity as of now and this might be scarier than anything Krampus can physically do.
19. No one thinks there’s anything odd about a giant sack magically appearing on the front step? No one at all?
20. I know this isn’t the most important part of the movie to fixate on but I’m getting serious sweater envy from Toni Collette.
21. Beth leaves the house to look for her boyfriend who doesn’t strike me as much of a winner to begin with, so I’m not entirely surprised when she winds up being the first one to get the axe (or the hoof, maybe more accurately?).
22. Perhaps the number one rule in any horror film: do NOT look inside a jack-in-the-box left by a terrifying half-demon, half-goat creature.
23. Tom and Sarah are seemingly unconcerned about their daughter having gone out in a crazy blizzard and are instead taking this moment to reflect on the current state of their marriage. As one does.
24. As soon as Tom’s brother-in-law Howard (David Koechner) gets wind that something resembling a predator may have taken Beth, he is ON IT. Also, I am living for the way Adam Scott holds a gun in this scene, which is barely by his fingertips and pointing down at the ground.
25. There’s the unmistakable sound of hooves on the roof of the house and Toni Collette says, “Must be squirrels.” SQUIRRELS. SQUIRRELS, GIRL, COME ON.
26. WAR. ON. CHRISTMAS.
27. The weird thing about Beth’s boyfriend’s house is that the entire interior is frozen over, which is certainly not what happens in a storm unless there’s a half-demon half-goat monster involved.
28. Speaking of, Howard immediately pegs Krampus as being half-goat. Speaks to his credibility as a hunter, obviously, but I don’t really think that knowledge is going to help him face this bad Santa.
29. Howard gets bit, presumably by Krampus. I wonder if this means he’s going to turn into a goat.
30. “I never liked kids even when I was one.” Conchata Ferrell is the aunt I like most, especially when she says she’s going to teach the children how to make peppermint schnapps and then starts getting them drunk.
31. It sounds like the trick to keeping Krampus out is to keep a fire going in the fireplace at all times. Krampus don’t like his buns toasted.
32. GRANDMA’S PACKING KNIVES. She knows what’s coming and she’s ready.
33. Score another point for an adorable knit hat on Linda.
34. Finally, Tom and Howard are bonding. Too bad it took an evil horned demon monster to bring them closer together.
35. There are more and more snowmen now that have been inching closer and closer to the house the entire time and no one has noticed and it is driving me mad, but it makes sense since all the kids have been watching Christmas movies on an iPad.
36. Howard volunteers to keep watch promptly falls asleep, and then allows the fire in the fireplace to burn out which is exactly what we don’t want to happen.
37. Krampus LITERALLY lures the oldest cousin (who I’m not going to bother looking up by name, so let’s call him Augustus Gloop) to death with a gingerbread man on a hook. It feels like there’s a lesson to be learned here - namely, do not take cookies from creepy monsters.
38. WAR. ON. CHRISTMAS.
39. The one and only time Grandma speaks English is to deliver the story of Krampus, and as I suspected she has a complex backstory with Krampus which happens in animated retelling. It’s beautiful and sad and the important thing you need to remember is that Krampus punishes those who have lost the Christmas spirit and Grandma was the sole survivor of his attack on her village. So basically she was the Christmas Final Girl.
40. Howard immediately disrespects Grandma’s beautiful story and now I’m crossing my fingers that he becomes the next Krampus victim.
41. “This is how I figure things out.” You mean by WALKING OUT ON YOUR FAMILY, HOWARD? I guess that’s what you’re best at!
42. The house is surrounded by many creepy snowmen now, which apparently is what Krampus enjoys making in his spare time when he’s not murdering Christmas cynics.
43. The family Christmas tree caught on fire earlier and now it is just idly smoldering in the house and I’m more concerned about a fire hazard than any potential Krampus threat at this moment.
44. Oh, goody. The toys that were in the giant mystery sack are starting to wake up and promise even more murdery fun.
45. SUP, KRAMPUS.
46. Max is convinced that the entire thing is his fault somehow and honestly, Max, your family was The Worst long before you decided to rip up your Santa letter. Don’t let the guilt consume you.
47. Rosie is the smartest one in the house and runs away from danger. I hope Rosie survives, at least.
48. The giant jack-in-the-box clown eating the terrible cousins is somehow the most hilarious moment in the entire thing, though it comes in second to Howard getting shot by a group of demonic gingerbread men with a nail gun. WHAT IS HAPPENING.
49. I know I’m supposed to be horrified by all of the parents having to fight off demonic toys but I’m so amused by the whole thing, including an exasperated Adam Scott exclaiming, “You’ve got to be KIDDING me” when he gets attacked.
50. Rosie the dog eats the demonic gingerbread men! ROSIE IS A HERO.
51. Tom and Sarah have a moment that can only be described as “I have a newfound respect and sexual attraction to my wife now that she’s fired a gun, and of course it happens in the middle of a holiday crisis during which everyone is dying.”
52. Hold on a second. This does not look like Elf at all. Someone has been lying to me.
53. Linda and Howard don’t even bother to locate their baby before the elves snatch her away. Maybe she’ll be happier with her new elf parents.
54. This family has had two noble sacrifices: Rosie the dog and Grandma, whose last words to them are are (I’m not making this up) “Be good” before she faces off with Krampus solo.
55. Current sexuality: Adam Scott brandishing a shotgun like a badass right up until he gets dragged under the snow to his death. Bye, Adam Scott.
56. The impression I’m getting from this is that Max might be the only one who can save his family from Krampus… if he apologizes for not having enough Christmas spirit? Maybe that’s too optimistic.
57. Krampus scoops up one of Max’s tears with his claw finger. What a tender boy.
58. Is it just me, or was anyone else hoping Krampus would be more like a goat-Santa than a bad Santa in the face area?
59. Yep. I was too optimistic.
60. So is this family trapped in perpetual holiday mode, destined to be tortured by Krampus over and over again? Merry Christmas, I guess.