Krampus: The Christmas Devil Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by High Fliers Films
Written and Directed by Jason Hull
2013, 82 minutes, Rated 15
DVD released on November 2nd 2015
Jay Dobyns as Bob Norris
Paul Ferm as Santa Claus
A.J. Leslie as Jeremy Duffin
Samantha Hoepfl as Heather Duffin
Santa and Krampus, boldly re-imagined as a pair of grizzled tramps hiding in the woods discussing who's been naughty and who's been nice, arranging punishment for the former. Those who've been good can presumably expect a lovely new Action Man or delicious selection box, while the naughty are shoved into a burlap sack and unceremoniously thrown into an icy lake. No, it's not supposed to be funny, but I laughed.
It's from this perilous situation that little Jeremy somehow escapes, the experience spurring him on to be a 'good' boy, growing up to become a cop. Now bald, drunk and traumatised, Jeremy is still on the trail of the man who kidnapped him as a child. Gradually he comes to realise that his old kidnapper might be something more than human – Krampus, the Christmas Devil. If only he can get out of the pub for long enough to go stop the evil bastard.
The awful Krampus: The Reckoning can breathe a sigh of relief, no longer being the worst Krampus movie you'll see from 2015. Granted, there's very little in it, but The Christmas Devil manages to have its competitors beat for unwatchability simply by being so boring and inert. It tells a fairly traditional police procedural story, the key difference being that the serial killers are Santa Claus and Krampus rather than your average Criminal Minds serial killing duo. Your average serial killer is also represented, however, in the form of Brian (semi-recognisable name Bill Oberst Jr., who is all too at home in this sort of thing, and the only good thing in it) a newly released paedophile seeking revenge on Jeremy for locking him away.
This subplot gets you an entirely wrongheaded sequence in which a girl seduces her would be rapist and murders him on the spot, while Brian is downstairs showcasing how evil he is by drinking milk from the carton and screaming nonsense in a captive's face. Annoying metal and rap cover versions of famous Christmas carols try and keep it festive in the absence of atmosphere or spirit, but those looking for some insight into Krampus that you didn't get from A Christmas Horror Story, Krampus or The Reckoning will come away sorely disappointed. Its scrawny, ridiculous creature is never properly shown to us, but it's surely the least effective Krampus of all time. Better that than Santa Claus though, who I honestly mistook for Bill Bailey upon entrance.
Don't get suckered into 2015's Krampus hype, this is a terrible effort. Its only excuse being a lack of funds, clearly only thrust into the limelight by executives looking to cash in on the recent love for Krampus. There's a surprising amount of choice about these days, but if you only watch one movie about Krampus in the holiday season, make sure that it isn't The Christmas Devil.