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Movie Review: Krampus

On Friday night, I went to go see the new movie Krampus (pronounced Crum. Pus.) with some friends. I’d seen lots of commercials for it, and I wanted to hang out, so we just picked that, since it was out and horror movies around Christmas-time are either:

1. Very good or

2. Easy to make fun of.

krampus

This movie generally falls into the second category, and there were more parts of the movie were I laughed than jumped.

Was it because I was with friends? I mean, possibly, but the movie itself wasn’t scary in the least. But since this is a (hopefully) fair movie review, I won’t poke fun at it too much. Except for “Krampus.” I’ll be making fun of him. Enjoy.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • The Ending

One redemptive part of the movie was- like many other movies- the way the movie ended. I don’t mean the last half-hour or so. (Because I didn’t like that at all.) More like the final… five minutes or so. I won’t give the ending away, but I will tell you that it was something entirely unexpected, at least for me. The way they ended it was both clever and somewhat unique, until the last few seconds, when they tried one last, desperate jump scare.

I didn’t jump.

  • The Story Line (Kind of)

There were parts that were great, and parts that could be improved upon. (Not that I could improve the actual movie. I’m definitely not a director. Of anything.)

Some scenes would have been good, and could have been made into very scary moments. For instance: Krampus is chasing a girl as she runs down the deserted street. Instead of making it dark and playing scary music while she is being chased in the middle of a snow storm, they show him clearly jumping from roof to roof like some kind of demented frog. No music. No darkness. Just watching a goat-man jump while listening to a girl scream with a terribly-high pitch.

There were a few other instances, but that’s the one I clearly remember. The first 3/5 of the movie were great, funny enough to be humorous and creepy enough to be a horror movie. Then it all kind of fell apart.

  • Max

The other redeeming quality about the film was the little boy in the family on whom the story centers. Max was a character that, by himself, made the movie tons better. I saw growth and change in the well-rounded character. I saw wonderful performing by the young actor.

When all the characters at times seemed insane or selfish or unlikable, he was always someone you wanted to succeed and wanted to live, up until his last moment when he finally confronts both his fears and the literal monster in front of him.

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • Krampus & Co.

I don’t even know where to begin. Krampus, as I said, is like a goat. A big, ugly goat with an enormously long tongue he likes to show off. When the old woman recounts her first experience with Krampus, how he is showed is indeed creepy and that wink (which seems to be a staple in Krampus stories) might haunt me for a little while. But overall, he was a disappointment.

Whew. Next on my scathing list is his “helpers.” Like, they’re straight out of a circus. The gingerbread man on Shrek was creepier than these (except for those laughs. *shudders*). The dolls and elves (they were not elves) all looked the same. Just clowns from jack-in-the-boxes that had gone mental. In one scene it looks like Krampus has mini-Krampuses following him and darting through a field of demon-looking snowmen. So why don’t we see them, the only helpers that look even a bit frightening?

Oh yeah. And three gingerbread men try to use a nail gun. (Yeah, I found a link. That’s called research, babyyyyy. And that’s called my Dick Vitale voice.) It works… not very well. They go a little crazy. Reminds me of my brothers and sisters with Nerf guns. Actually, the nail-gun scene was more weird and hilarious than scary or full of anxiety.

  • Final Confrontation

All those crazy buffoons I mentioned up there (^) get a bunch of caffeine or something because it seems to me that they’re on a sugar high. They just start bouncing off the walls and shooting fools with nail guns and eating people or something.

(Speaking of eating, a gingerbread man gets very angry that half of his head got eaten. That was probably my favorite part of the whole movie. No, definitely my favorite.)

Everything was really hectic and hard to follow. They had all the family members pinned down, ready to kill them, and yet they never do. They just stand there like awkward elves/monsters/gingerbread fools. So, yeah. That was a strange scene.

(I could make many more points but I’m constraining myself here. You can send me a Christmas card for thanks. Not with Krampus on it.)

MY RATING: 0/10

I really could have made this lower, but my expectations for the movie weren’t high as it was. There was just a lot more laughing than I expected for a horror movie. Maybe The Forest next month will make up for it, but the last two horror films I was in theaters (this one and The Visit) were major letdowns.

Until next time, Merry Christmas all you folks and Happy New Years!

(If there’s a blizzard on Christmas, like in the movie, just… don’t go anywhere. Just stay home. Celebrate the next day. Christmas-day blizzards are bad apparently.)

Watch out behind you. There may be a rabid goat-man chasing you on rooftops. If there is, please don’t scream. Just shout. I like my ears being able to hear.

Audios!!

*******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.

Movie Review: Insidious 3

 

creepy thing ahhhh (That gives me shivers.)

A while back, I went to the movies with some friends and saw the latest chapter of the Insidious saga. Chapter 3 was, in my opinion, the best of the three, serving as a prequel to the original two. I had seen only Insidious 2 at the time of my watching, as I went back and watched the first one later that week.

(That makes me shiver —>)

Insidious 3 had hints -some subtle and some explicit- to the first two, foreshadowing events. It tied in exceptionally well with the originals, keeping the suspense and horror alive. Although I know absolutely nothing about directing and producing, that doesn’t stop me from having opinions, which I gladly share.

Because of my unfamiliarity with movies, these posts could be anyway from 4 total points to 8 total long. My book reviews I will try to structure with 3 good and 3 bad points, but for these I’m kind of just winging it, so bear with me. Also, I will try my best not to give away any spoilers for those who haven’t seen the movie yet.

WHAT I LIKED:

  • The Jump Scares

One thing that separates the good horror movies from the bad is the quality and quantity of their “jump scares.” As the old saying goes, “Quality over quantity.” Insidious 3 certainly had the quality in theirs, as well as the quantity. There were slow, dramatic build ups before surprising appearances from all sorts of devilish creatures, monsters, or whatever you choose to call them.

The best, least expected scare was at the very end of the movie. Literally every person in the theater shot up out of their seats. A group of teenagers in front of me started screaming, and still looked shaken as we all made our way out of the theater. I won’t give anything away -you’ll have to see for yourself- but never let your guard down.

  • The Subtle References/Foreshadowing

Throughout the course of the movie, there were multiple references to the original two films. One was that the main villain, labeled “the man who can’t breathe” always wears a breathing mask (duh), and this mask is first seen in the basement of Lin Shaye (the woman who fights off the breathing mask man), during the second film. I didn’t realize this until I saw the second film again, and noticed an innocent-seeming breathing mask, sitting quietly in the corner.

There were many others instances like this, connecting all three films like a spider’s web. I enjoyed finding them as I watched and re-watched the movie, and hopefully you can find some for yourself, too.

Now, before I reveal too much, onto the dislike category. (Which was quite hard to make. I loved this movie.)

WHAT I DISLIKED:

  • Uncertainty About Future Sequels

This is one thing that probably means more to me than others. When there is a series I follow, whether by reading or watching, I like to know exactly when it will stop. I want to have some evidence and some clear plans, so I’ll either begin to find a new series or obsessively wait for the next installment.

Insidious 3, for all of the great things it did, left me in the dark on this particular area. I don’t know if there’s going to be another chapter, or if this “book” is finished. They certainly left ample room for sequels (or would they be prequels in this case?), but that doesn’t mean anything is certain.

Internet research hasn’t helped either, since there’s been no complete, undeniable word on the matter. Until then, this is going in my dislike category, partially because there wasn’t much to not love about the movie.

  • Dependence On Jump Scares

This might seem like I’m contradicting myself, but I’m not. I loved the jump scares, especially the one at the end, but it seemed like the entire movie -except for a few parts- depended on these cheap methods to scare the audience. Of course, we all jumped and screamed at the appropriate times, because it was terrifying, but it wasn’t a terror that lasted.

For instance, I watched Silence of the Lambs not long ago, and that movie was utterly, psychologically horrifying. Why? Not because of jump scares, not because of fantastic acting- thought it had some-, and not because everything took place at night- it didn’t-. That movie disturbed me because of the story line, and the plot. It messed with my brain and my dreams for the next few days. It didn’t have me shivering as I walked down dark hallways and went into a room with the lights off. Instead, it affected me when I was sleeping and at the most random times, because it was an effect that didn’t go away in a few seconds.

Insidious 3 depended on jump scares, and they were effective in their use of them, but at the end of the day I’d rather have a movie more like Silence of the Lambs. Maybe I’ll write a review on that one someday.

MY RATING: 8.3/10

Why the .3? Because it was better than just a eight, but not quite a nine. And it’s the third chapter, so it’s .3. Don’t ask questions.

Anyways, this was a movie I thoroughly enjoy watching every time I turn it on. I would highly recommend this. In fact, I’m going to cut this one a bit short and go watch it right now.

*Terminator voice*

“Hasta Lavista!”

******

Turn the page. Trace the plot. Tempt the panic.