KRAMPUS (2015) Reviews and overview

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‘You don’t want to be on his list.’

Krampus is a 2015 American dark comedy horror film directed by Michael Dougherty (Godzilla: King of the MonstersTrick ‘r Treat) from a screenplay co-written with Todd Casey and Zach Shields. It stars Adam Scott, David Koechner and Allison Tolman.


When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers.

All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive…


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“All the way back to Dickens, the best Christmas stories — It’s A Wonderful Life, Gremlins, Die Hard, Bad Santa — combine cynicism and sentiment. Krampus delivers this mix perfectly from its stunning opening, slo-mo consumerist riots at the mall accompanied by Bing Crosby’s ‘It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas’, before turning into a siege-type horror…” Kim Newman, Empire

“The film certainly barrels toward its conclusion with conviction, and there’s an attempt to end things on a pat note of “Family is what it’s really all about!” — a sentiment that could be quietly hilarious, given the carnage that’s preceded it — but by that point, the film has already missed the opportunity to decide what it wants to be.” Bryan Bishop, The Verge


“This not-quite-funny, not-quite-scary Christmas-themed comedy horror is like a festive Frankenstein’s monster stitched together from the spare parts of better movies … a noisy, mushy mess of a film, occasionally diverting, but generally forgettable.” Tom Huddleston, Time Out

“It’s nowhere near as good as many of the films it so wants to be positioned next to, but it’s nasty enough to leave an impression.” Benjamin Lee, The Guardian


Buy Blu-ray:

  • Digital Copy of Krampus
  • Includes UltraViolet Digital HD
  • Alternate Ending
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Krampus Comes Alive!
  • Behind the Scenes at WETA Workshop: Krampus
  • Galleries
  • Feature Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Michael Dougherty and Co-Writers Todd Casey and Zach Shields


“As Dougherty once again perfects the horror comedy genre, he declares his undying love for holidays and teaches us and his characters the value of keeping the faith and never giving up. The movie’s ambiguous ending is both unsettling and shocking, designed to make us think and re-evaluate our own experiences.” Nick Caruso, Daily Dead

“Occasionally funny, intermittently scary, but mostly hectic and sloppy, Krampus tries very hard to be a different kind of Christmas movie. It wants to have its store-bought fruitcake and eat it too, to satirize the meanness and materialism of holiday-observing Americans and also connect with the vaguely defined real meaning of the season.” A. O. Scott, The New York Times

“By the time the dread Krampus finally rears his horned, red-cloaked head, it’s clear Dougherty is treating his material with the utmost seriousness, sans winking or campiness, and with an atmosphere of grimscreen-shot-2016-10-26-at-14-02-22 relentlessness that seeps in like a winter chill. Krampus stays well within the relatively bloodless confines of PG-13 horror, but it’s precisely the opposite of family-friendly.” Justin Chang, Variety

“Not to overpraise it, but Trick ‘r’ Treat set a surprisingly high standard for Dougherty to follow. Almost inevitably, his long-awaited sophomore effort is less surprising and falls short of those heights, yet Krampus demonstrates that it is possible to elevate a movie from humdrum holiday cheer to genuine horror, all in 98 minutes or less.” Peter Martin, Twitch

“It almost caught me off guard because much of the movie is driven by these really funny characters and there’s a lot of dark humor that keeps the narrative moving along quickly, but man does it get nasty and go to some scary places. What few quiet moments there are in the film are torn apart by one creature after the next, a constant onslaught of not-so-merry monsters terrorizing Christmas.” Rhino’s Horror



Released on November 24, 2015, Michael Dougherty’s Krampus: Shadow of Saint Nicholas comic book tells a new story based on the 2015 horror comedy film.

Main cast:

  • Emjay Anthony … Max – Incarnate
  • Adam Scott … Tom – GhostedHellraiser: BloodlineThe Return; Fright Night
  • Toni Collette … Sarah – Hereditary
  • Stefania LaVie Owen … Beth –The Lovely Bones
  • Krista Stadler … Omi
  • Conchata Ferrell … Aunt Dorothy – Modern Vampires; FrankenweenieTwo and a Half Men
  • Allison Tolman … Linda – The Gift
  • David Koechner … Howard – Snakes on a Plane; Final Destination 5; Piranha 3DD
  • Maverick Flack … Howie, Jr
  • Queenie Samuel … Jordan
  • Lolo Owen … Stevie
  • Sage Hunefeld … Baby Chrissy
  • Leith Towers … Derek
  • Curtis Vowell … DHL Man
  • Luke Hawker … Krampus


The Legendary Pictures production was released globally on December 4, 2015 by Universal Pictures.


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