Every year, Max’s grandmother encourages him to write to Santa, but this year, as the family all gathers, the Christmas spirit seems lost. When Max tears up his letter, he brings down a malevolent Christmas spirit who terrorises his family.
Starring: Toni Collette, Adam Scott, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony.
Director: Michael Dougherty
So, my boyfriend loves family Christmas movies, and I love horror: this film pleased us both. The film is very dark, comic and weird, in a fabulous way. More a comedy/horror, the bad guy is based on old pre-Christian Christmas traditions, in which a creature punishes transgressions made during the rest of the year.
And in this movie, no one is safe…from killer gingerbread men, Christmas angels with teeth or pent up holiday passive aggressiveness, you’re never sure who’s going to get it next. It’s all about the flip side of Christmas, the parts glossed over in the coca cola ads & department store window displays. The family fights, the copious drinking, the shopping injuries and the point blank rudeness. I guess Christmas can be horrific enough all by itself.
The cast is mostly comedy/drama actors, in an ensemble cast, with everyone getting a share of the one liners, passive aggression and amusing deaths. It’s that kind of tone.
The creatures themselves get more creepy as the film progresses, though Krampus himself is quite terrifying. The giggling gingerbread men are cute, but there’s this Jack In The Box that is both grotesque and hilarious.
It’s just a cool film. It’s something funny and different, and says a lot about how commercial Christmas is, and how awful we all are at this time of year, but not in a downer kind of way. It also has a pretty cool twist in the ending.
See It If: You need a very welcome panacea to saccharin Christmas cheer.