KRAMPUS UNLEASHED

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It would seem that the Krampus legend has become the seasonal fad of American horror. Last Christmas, Michael Dougherty introduced the Eastern European anti-Clause via his big budget gremlins-inspired Christmas caper Krampus, the success spawned numerous cash-ins. Robert Conway’s 2015 film Krampus: The Reckoning wasn’t so good, this year’s unconnected follow up Krampus: Unleashed, isn’t quite the improvement you might’ve hoped for.

Where the first film had a kind of Grimm fairy tale angle, this film goes down the adventure horror route and breaks the Krampus out of hibernation on account of an ancient buried treasure. There’s some semblance of thought, but not a huge amount of common sense or craft. Sure it’s better than Conway’s first Krampus flick, but that’s not saying much. The dialogue feels clunky and overdone, the acting is passable yet never involving, and worst perhaps is that its plain old dull.

Conway doesn’t seem to know whether he wants us to enjoy watching the Krampus dole out carnage or cower at its ruthlessness. Either way, there’s mixed messages in all directions. Whoever was handling the gore obviously had a good idea of the film’s tone, because the deaths seem to fit in with the silly B-Movie quality more than most of the film.

Krampus itself looks pretty dull and far too much like a Halloween costume. The CGI abomination from Krampus: The Reckoning was unsettlingly bad, whereas the one here is just plain bad. Again there are tonal inconsistencies; prolonged sequences of Krampus shuffling around in the light, and supposedly tense moments where it seems to move lightning fast. The comedy isn’t big enough, and the scares aren’t quite sincere.

There’s potential here for a good horror comedy (rednecks mistake Krampus prints for Bigfoot) but Conway takes things too seriously and spends too much time acquainting us with Krampus fodder families. Krampus: Unleashed feels most comfortable when its offing terrible people with terrible violence, we just wish it did that more.

KRAMPUS UNLEASHED / CERT: 18 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: ROBERT CONWAY / STARRING: AMELIA BRANTLEY, BRYSON HOLL, CAROLINE LASSETTER, TAYLOR BUCKLEY, TIM SAUER / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

Expected Rating: 5'/10
Actual:
 


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