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Blu-ray Review: Krampus likes it when you’re naughty

by Brandon Russell | April 30, 2016April 30, 2016 1:00 pm PST

The enduring images of Christmas are no longer that of smiling families and ecstatic children, rather, of stampeding shoppers and shouting relatives. I said I wanted scalloped potatoes, not mashed!

The spirit of the holiday season has, for one reason or another, gone missing these past few decades, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by director Michael Dougherty. What used to be a time of celebration has turned into a test of mental endurance, as angry families convene to gripe and groan about those darn Kardashians. Can’t everyone just eat in silence?

In Krampus, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray this week, the lack of Christmas cheer wakes up an evil, more twisted representation of jolly Saint Nic, like that grumpy uncle who gets a little too rowdy at family BBQs. Instead of a bearded, rosy-cheeked old man, Krampus is a horned, hooved, menacing creature—even his name is reminiscent of a bad stomach ailment. “If you don’t believe, you shall not receive” is basically Krampus’ motto (if he had one).

The movie’s premise is quite simple: Dysfunctional family forgets what Christmas is all about, unleashing a demonic holiday spirit intent on punishing all non-believers. This “shadow of Saint Nicolas” sets about dragging its victim to the depths of Hades, reminding viewers that Christmas isn’t about familial feuds or late night sales, but about enjoying each other’s company.

To its core, Krampus is a delightful genre movie that takes itself deadly serious, with none of the audience winking or unnecessary fake-outs. Instead, Doughtery delivers a fun horror flick without any campiness, along with some truly impressive practical effects. In fact, in the extras included with the home release, viewers get an insightful look at how the terrifying monster was created and operated; it’s quite elaborate.

Below you can take a peek at the extras included with the Blu-ray release:

  • Krampus and His Minions – In this exclusive feature see how Krampus and his twisted underlings gave the visual-effects superstars at Peter Jackson’s New Zealand-based Weta Workshop some creative and technical challenges. Viewers will have an insider look at how Krampus and his evil minions were created and executed
  • Practical Danger – Stunt Coordinator Rodney Cook walks viewers through how the film’s thrilling stunts were done live on set while facing challenges with the creatures, children and set design.
  • Inside the Snowglobe: Production Design – Filming almost entirely on sound stages in the middle of summer in New Zealand, the art department and special effects team had to pull out all of their tricks to create sets that were realistic, ready for stunts and practical effects, all while creating the look of a winter wonderland.
  • Behind the Scenes at Weta Workshop: Krampus – Go behind-the-scenes at the world-famous Weta Workshop to see how they brought the amazing Krampus creatures to life.
  • Dougherty’s Vision – In this featurette, Director Michael Dougherty, along with the film’s cast and crew, reveal how his approach informed the tone, pacing, humor and performances of Krampus.

It’s not exactly the type of movie that stokes family cheer, but it’s a pertinent reminder that the holidays aren’t about rampant consumerism and family bickering.

He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been naughty, and that’s just the way he likes it. You can pick up Krampus now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.

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