Krampus: The Christmas Devil (2013)
Krampus: The Christmas Devil is a 2013 horror film written and directed by Jason Hull who's previous work includes Chasing Darkness(2007) and The Four(2012). It stars A.J. Leslie (Chasing The Darkness, The Four), Richard Goteri (Real Steel, Machine Gun Preacher), Erica Soto (Post-Mortem), Angelina Leigh
(Night Of The Pumpkin, Disgruntled Employee, Breeding Farm), Samantha Hoepfl (House Of Bedlam, Blood Of Ohma) and Bill Oberst Jr. (Nude Nun With Big Guns, Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies)
So the movie begins with a voiceover telling us about the legend of Krampus, basically he was the evil brother of St. Nick and his job was to take the list of naughty children, find them and kill them before the strike of midnight on Christmas eve. 1983, a hooded figure drags a bag through a snowy forest. The bag has a child inside kicking and screaming. He reaches a frozen lake and throws the child into it then casually turns around and walks away. Little does he know the child freed himself from the bag and climbed out of the icy water and ran home to safety…
30 years later that child Jeremy Duffin is now a cop hell bent on finding his abductor and any other child predators, especially since he's married with a young daughter of his own.
Some more kids go missing and Duffin thinks it's his guy so after a little detective work he figures out where the child killer might be hiding out. He meets 2 of his cop buddies Norris and Walker and sets up a 3 man task force to go hunt the killer and early the following morning they meet near the woods where he's hiding.
The way they're suited, booted and armed they look more like Seal Team 6 than regular cops but as the old boy scout motto goes -"Be Prepared". Except they're not prepared, Krampus kicks Norris and Duffin's asses with a ball and chain and poor Walker gets his head stomped in by a hoof.
Duffin and Norris wake up in Krampus' cave where he has a few other kids held captive and a hot big titted woman who Krampus uses some sort of magic spell to make her want him.
Krampus is getting a scolding from his brother Bad Santa (no not Billy Bob) and Duffin takes this as his opportunity to escape, Norris would have fled with him but let’s just say he didn't have the guts. Duffin runs to his car and floors it back to his precinct but when he gets there his captain doesn't believe his story. Pissed off at this Duffin goes to his local bar to get wasted and ends up in a brawl. While this is going on his wife and child are at home and they get a visit from Brian Hatt and 2 of his friends, Hatt was a child rapist who Duffin put away for 10 years but now he's just out of prison and out for revenge.
They tie up Duffin's wife and terrorize her and one of his friends goes upstairs to look for the daughter. Meanwhile the Krampus is lurking outside the house trying to capture the one that got away.
Duffin is on his way home but he has 2 surprises there waiting for him, his old nemesis Hatt and the creature who has haunted him for 30 years...
When writing reviews I usually like to crack a joke from time to time, just to keep things lively. One joke that sprung to mind was when the character Bob Norris appeared in this movie, my first thought was that he looked more like a biker than a cop and I was going to lead with some humorous remark like "he must has gotten lost on his way to the Sons Of Anarchy set" or something like that. Then I had to Google the guy playing him because he looked so damn familiar and it was bugging me. Well it turns out I had heard of Jay Dobyns before, he's the best-selling author of the book 'No Angel'- his real-life account of his time as an undercover ATF agent in the Hell's Angels, a book that I’ve read before and loved.
This seems to be his first time acting and honestly he did a good job. So now that that piece of useless information is out of the way, let’s get back to the movie.
It was low budget (made for around $200,000) and for the most part of it you can tell, that didn't stop me from enjoying it though. I like low budget, especially when it’s not so bad you want to pull your own eyeballs out afterwards.
The Krampus myth is something I haven't heard much about before so the story was interesting. The cast all put in good performances especially leading man A.J. Leslie. The one performance that really stood out for me though was from Bill Oberst Jr., even though his appearance was a short one it's a memorable one. His role as Brian Hatt - child murderer, rapist and all around psychopath was enough to creep anyone out and to me he looks like Bill Mosely's evil twin brother (someone please make that happen - Bill Mosely & Bill Oberst Jr. as psychotic hillbilly brothers, fucking shit up worse than The Firefly family - yes please!).
Anyway, my only real complaint for the whole film is that the bar fight scene looked really bad, they obviously got the actors to fight, throw punches and everything else in slow motion so they could get it right without getting injured and they probably meant to speed everything up in post- editing, except they didn't , not properly anyway.
It was laughable at times and reminded me of when you're a kid (or adult man-child) and you pretend to wrestle with you buddies but do it in slow motion to make it look like a funny instant replay. Other than that I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone looking for something different to watch this Christmas other than the usual go-to movies and anyone that doesn't mind low budget horror with a slice of cheese.
On a side note, I recently heard that next Christmas we will be getting another Krampus movie, except that one will be directed by Michael Dougherty, the man who gave us the modern Halloween cult classic Trick R Treat. Something to look forward to next December, other than Star Wars of course...