Krampus The Christmas DevilTitle: Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
Director: Jason Hull
Runtime: 82 minutes

Sometimes I picture Branden’s face and the look of pure glee that comes across it when he sends me a film like Krampus: The Christmas Devil. Granted, the idea behind it is solid and could have been very entertaining, but looking at the DVD cover, I can’t imagine anyone going “hey, I want to see this”. Judging by the fact that I am now the only person on Letterboxd to view this piece of cinematic fun, I can safely assume the cover has steered many a potential viewer away.

As a small child, Jeremy was kidnapped, tossed in a frozen lake inside a burlap sack, and somehow managed to escape. He’s now a local police officer, and when kids start being taken again, he pieces it all together and believes it’s Krampus, Santa’s brother who handles the naughty side of the Christmas list. Okay, this could have seriously been awesome. Just imagine the possibilities! Having finished the film, I can say that they missed the mark, most likely due to the low budget ($200K), and subpar script.

Jeremy, played by A.J. Leslie, is a pretty likable fellow with a naughty list secret from his childhood. My biggest problem with his character is that I never cared about his plight, or what would happen to him. There are a few scenes near the end of the film that feel completely random, namely the bar fight, and the other cops just seem off kilter and too unbelievable. The film feels more like a police drama with a horror taint on it. The gore is fairly decent in the few scenes that had it.

There are some scenes where Krampus and Santa have a little heart-to-heart. and these scenes are entertainment gold. It’s a shame they didn’t work with that idea a little more. Having the good side and the bad side dishing the dirt could have lead to some great, cheese-filled scenes. The best thing we get out of it, though, is some solid nudity during the dish session.

Krampus won’t be a film I ever revisit, but I would be interested to see what else director Jason Hull might have up his sleeve. He seems to have a good eye, and some talent, but maybe he should leave the scriptwriting to someone else. All things said, Krampus: The Christmas Devil is an almost decent B-horror flick. It has a few missteps, and its budget didn’t help matters. Hopefully the announced sequel delivers in the areas that this film could not.

one_and_a_half_stars

Chris Ranson
Film Critic at Cinefessions
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He's been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.