Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Prime Time: Krampus Unleashed (2016)

I don't know why I do it to myself. I have already warned others, on multiple occasions, to avoid most Christmas horror movies that use the word Krampus (except for the fun film actually just called Krampus). But then I find myself scouring the internet, and am inexorably drawn to crap like this. And this IS crap.

If I had remembered writer-director Robert Conway as the one also responsible for Krampus: The Reckoning then maybe I would have stayed away from this. Maybe. Ach, who am I trying to kid. We all know that morbid curiosity would have got the better of me eventually.

It all starts with a prologue that shows some treasure hunters finding the buried stash of a German outlaw. That stash includes a stone that houses the Krampus, and he gets to come out and cause pain and death whenever the stone is near heat. Things then move to the here and now, with people visiting family for Christmas. The stone is found again, it eventually finds some heat, and, well, Krampus appears and begins killing folk.

Despite some occasional gore effects, and one or two cast members who do much better than the rest, this is a terrible horror movie. It's the kind of movie I resent spending much time reviewing, because there's a cynical heart to it that feels like someone knew they could make a bit of money with the title, and decided to put in the minimum effort on the actual filming of the thing.

The tiniest hints of a silver lining on this cloud come from Amelia Brantley, who does well in the role of Bonnie, and Daniel Link, playing a guy called Dave who corrects everyone around him who doesn't call him David. That covers it.

There are no characters really worth caring about, no decent plot to make things feel as if they may have any proper consequences, and not nearly enough intelligence or wit to make up for the limitations of the budget and skillset being used.

At least the pacing isn't too bad, which saves this from being quite as painful a viewing experience as it could be. Some people may enjoy this enough if they've found it for free and have already filled themselves up with the right amount of alcohol (right amount = LOTS), but I could never bring myself to recommend this. It's dire.


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