Hello again, ghosts and ghouls! Taylor Terrible here, and it's officially December! It's the month of the year where we light fires in our fireplaces, cozy up with a blanket and a good movie, and let the snow fall (well, I guess that depends on where you are, but I'm in New York, so it snows here).
There are a few things that I love more than Christmastime. Halloween is always the frontrunner, but Christmas is a VERY close second. I regretfully say that I was one of those freaks that put their tree up the day after Thanksgiving this year...but believe me, I was very wary of taking down my Halloween decorations. They stayed up until Thanksgiving.
With the time of year that it is in mind, it's a great time to think about whether you've been naughty or nice. If you're on the nice list, of course Santa's going to bring you joy and happiness (and hopefully some cool stuff you asked for). If you're on the naughty list, though...you may have Krampus to deal with.
Us horror fans know about Krampus because we prefer the darker side of things, however he was really made famous by the 2015 film by Michael Dougherty (TRICK 'R TREAT). The 2015 KRAMPUS sparked my love for the darker side of the holiday season, so when I was offered the opportunity to screen a new film, KRAMPUS UNLEASHED, I jumped on it because HELLO, it's the perfect time of year! I cozied up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and a chocolate chip cookie (...dip your chocolate chip cookie in your hot chocolate, people. You won't regret it.) and I dove right in.
KRAMPUS UNLEASHED tells the story of a slumbering Krampus, who is only awoken when his magical stone is dug up. Naturally, a group of gold-diggers (literally, they're dudes digging for gold) find the stone and unleash Krampus (hehe, get it?), who is nothing like in the 2015 film. He does not release evil gingerbread men, there is no jack-in-the-box doing his dirty work...this Krampus is downright bloodthirsty, ripping people to shreds right in front of your eyes. I'm talking entrails being ripped out and eaten. Parents being killed in front of their kids. Brutal.
Aside from the gold miners, this film also follows a family who comes together at Christmastime to bond, however they clearly have some tension. In an attempt to find some common ground, the two fathers and their sons come together to do some sifting in the local rive to look for gold. Of course, one of the kids finds the stone. You can only imagine what happens from there.
Actually, I didn't really see what was going to happen from there, considering I was enjoying the film up until the family came together (which is only 45 minutes in). It went downhill pretty quickly, going from mildly cheesy acting with a decent story to absolutely insane, "Wtf am I watching" disasterfest.
The first 45 minutes of the film are great at explaining the origin of the stone, however from then on, they use sex appeal to drag a decent amount of the story along. To some, that's fine, but I prefer a film with substance, not based on the hot neighbor running around in her robe with no bra on.
I would honestly call this more of a horror-comedy, though I don't think it was intended to be classified as such. The only way I can describe this film is "fine". If you're really in desperate need to watch something that's mindless and a little bit cheesy, this will be right up your alley. I compare it to the newer Full Moon films, or something along the lines of a Troma movie. If that's what you like, hey, you're in luck!
Regardless of whether or not you give this film a watch, though, be sure you end up on the nice list. One thing is for certain: this Krampus doesn't give much mercy...you're going to have to watch your small intestine be ingested. Remember, kids, he sees you when you're sleeping, and he knows when you're awake!
Happy holidays, my ghosts and ghouls. Until next time, stay spooky!
Taylor Terrible <3