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Krampus is one of those rare treasures that manages to combine effective chills, with daft comedy and a strong character ensemble. And even rarer – it’s a genuine Christmas movie.

There aren’t many Christmas horror movies. I know. I look for them every year. And even fewer that are actually good. I’m basically looking at you, Gremlins. Kind of. (I laughed at the bit where her dad died in the chimney and apparently it’s not supposed to be funny).

And then along comes Krampus. A nice mix of festive folklore and modern horror. And there’s a long list of great films that have clearly influenced this little gem.

The Mist (2007) for one. No I’m serious here. Swap mist for snow; inter-dimensional beasts with creatures from the netherworld; and the petty struggles of a community in the face of impending doom with the struggles of one family in the face of impending doom and it’s basically, kind of, similar. Also add humor and tone-down that sucker punch ending. Ok, maybe it isn’t that similar. Oh, screw you.

Gremlins and critters are a definitely tonal match in terms of mixing up the family drama with the camp-horror monsters. There’s also a nod to tremors which I enjoyed immensely. And there’s definitely more than a touch of A Christmas Carole floating around. Mmm, Christmassy heaven.

I really don’t want to spoil Krampus if you haven’t seen it and I think going into it knowing as little as possible is the best approach. I was struck immediately by the quality of the writing and the realistic depiction of an extended family thrown together during the festive season. The characters are great. The acting is great. The story is great. I have no complaints. None. How often does that happen?

It’s a family action festive horror classic. When have we had one of those since the 80s? What’s that? It’s a PG13? You should totally watch this with your children before Christmas. It will be a very educational experience for the little shits. What if they get scared? Well that will be a very important lesson for them.

I love Krampus. I’m going to watch it every year. And if you don’t like it you have no soul.

Ho. Ho. Ho.