It may not be Christmas as you read this, but isn’t Christmas a frame of mind anyway? And who couldn’t use an occasional piece of yuletide fear? The problem is, boys and girls (be they naughty or nice) could definitely do better than watch Jason Hull’s Krampus: The Christmas Devil. It’s one of those movies that just happens. Like bad junk food, you’ll consume it and wonder, “Why did I just do that? It’s obviously not healthy and did it even taste good?” It’s not particularly satisfying, but you hungered for something, so you went ahead and…did that.

All that being said, Krampus: The Christmas Devil probably won’t be unwatchable for those who like smaller films like this. In fact, it’s better than getting a pair of socks on Christmas as a kid (though we appreciate such things more as we grow older).

You Know What You’re In For

There’s plenty of standard Christmas horror fare here, like a deranged Santa Claus (Paul Ferm) and assorted blood and guts. Yes, there are boobs here and there, too (in fact, the IMDb page lists “bare breasts | chained to a wall | female nudity” as Plot Keywords). Obviously, Santa and brother Krampus get a little creepy here, to put it lightly. Sure, the movie tries to have a story, with an officer named Jeremy (A.J. Leslie) piecing together his childhood trauma. However, we know from pretty early on that Santa and Krampus are up to no good, so it’s not like there’s some enthralling mystery. In fact, this isn’t one of those movies that shies away from showing nastiness, preferring it over the story. I hate to sound like a wuss, but this may be to its strategic disadvantage.

Is There Reason to Watch Krampus: The Christmas Devil?

Oddly enough, this is not the worst Christmas themed horror you could find. In fact, I personally disliked the 2006 remake of Black Christmas more than this offering, as that threatened to damage the original’s reputation. However, make no mistake about it: This particular Krampus tale is not a horror classic. You will not want to use this as someone’s stocking stuffer unless it’s a practical joke.

As usual, Bill Oberst Jr. is one of the better actors here, although the Santa Claus character is at least vaguely memorable (though I’ll always remember the twisted Santa from Tales From the Crypt or Silent Night Deadly Night more than this one). At the end of the day, Krampus: The Christmas Devil is best if you’re cramming through a marathon of Christmas-themed horror flicks. You could leave out cookies and milk for a far better Christmas monster. I’d rate this one as ‘Ho ho ho-who cares?!”

What are your thoughts on Krampus: The Christmas Devil? Let us know in the comments!

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Wade Wanio is an author.

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