Home | Film Reviews | Film Review: Krampus Unleashed (2016)

Film Review: Krampus Unleashed (2016)

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SYNOPSIS:

In pursuit of buried treasure, a group of fortune hunters unearth an ancient demonic summoning stone that holds a terrible curse and awakens a timeless evil, the Krampus. After centuries of slumber, Krampus has awoken with a thirst for blood.

REVIEW:

When one hears about the Krampus, it wasn’t too long ago most people would have been confused as to what you were talking about. Recently the Germanic Christmas demon has really caught on, almost to the point where it’s getting over played. Unlike this movie which starts off with a over a minute of story titles, mostly to bore the audience I think. I was hoping the title story was to speed up the story and jump right into the first kill, instead it went straight to ham acting and confusion as to if this was a period piece or not?

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Why was there a newsy hanging out with a cowboy at night in a field? All those question are soon answered when a blue yeti with horns, shows up and kills them all for finding a piece of obsidian. After the unnecessary title card sequence and low budget deaths, the audience has to suffer through a forced and awkward car ride with a family to a family Christmas get together. Coupled with bouts of overly stereotyped rednecks, which don’t really serve a purpose for plot or story. Eventually the kids at the family Christmas party discover the stone which apparently calls forth the Krampus or large blue horned yeti. From there on out people start dying until the kids of the family burry the stone sealing in the Krampus.

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It seriously hurts the think meat to really study this movie for a review, the short and blunt of it is It’s absolutely stunning that they were able to get as many people to act in it as they did. Most low to no budget films generally circle about the same 4 to 5 people, and attempt some minor character development. This movie barely focused on any one character long enough to really connect as an audience member. Although perhaps it was the fact that the acting had more dry ham than an Italian market. The child actors watched their parent’s get torn apart in front of them and there was zero emotion. The primary adult actors over acted their scenes, and none of them were loveable or relatable, their deaths were actually a sweet release from having to watch them butcher lines any more. The best actors in the whole film turned out to be the overly played redneck stereotypes.

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Often in my reviews I cover some of the technical aspects which help make or break a good film. One of the biggest issues in low budget film making is sound, you can never live down a film with terrible sounds quality. This movie sounds awful, like it was shot with a single boom mic. All the actors sound far away like you are listening to a stage play. I was half expecting to hear a cacophony of ambient noise, but apparently they were able to get their hands on a circuit city boom mic during the going out of business sale.

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Now to really review my bread and butter, the reason I watch and love horror films, special effects. As someone who has work as a special effects artist, I am pleased to say this movie didn’t disappoint me here. There was plenty of good solid gore, arms being torn off, good blood effects, and the occasional intestinal evisceration. There were enough kills and solid enough practical effects for me to actually finish the movie in one sitting, which I am glad I did. The very best moment comes when a baby Krampus doll flies across the screen killing the most irritating character in the whole film. The only area of special effects where the team dropped the ball in my opinion was in the creature design. The Krampus looked like a cheap Sasquatch Halloween costume painted blue with horns glued to the head. It was really not that memorable or awe inspiring as a monster.

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Here is the bottom line, don’t waste your time here. It is impressive that this crew not one completed a full length movie, but actually found some kind of distribution. I honestly applaud the effort put forth to make the movie, but I cannot in good conscience recommend this movie, well, to anyone. I’ve come across better movies from Troma entertainment, because “Krampus Unleashed” was not entertaining, in any way worth my money as a consumer. I was shocked to see that this movie was made by a director with seven full length movies under his belt, he must be competing to replace Uwe Boll.

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