MIchael Dougherty

31 Days of Horror – ‘Krampus’

krampus

Krampus 

Directed by: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Adam Scott and Toni Collette

Review by Eric Scot Lemons

First things first, Krampus makes no fucking sense. I don’t really know what happened in that film. I am not going to say it was bad, but it was utterly confusing on a level usually reserved for avant-garde flicks, not holiday B-spoofs.

Here is the first confusing thing about Krampus: the casting ages. The child in it (Max), is played by like a 12 year old, yet is fully devoted to the concept of Santa Claus. Now, I am not saying Santa Claus isn’t real. I am just saying that this kid is a little old to be believing it. I honestly spent one-third of the film trying to figure out if he was mentally handicapped. Also, Adam Scott is his dad. Adam Scott is like, in his late thirties. Adam Scott’s mother in this film looks to be in her eighties. This film makes no fucking sense.

The next confusing element; what was the transgression that this family committed in order to get the wrath of Krampus? People not having Christmas spirit? Don’t get it. The pacing was all off. I couldn’t tell you if this film took place over the course of one day or a week. There is a huge blizzard and people seem to be dying in it, but I can’t tell if anyone exists in their world other than the family in this film. Do you realize how much you have to fuck up as a filmmaker so that this is unclear? The deaths were laughable and presented no consequence other than lessening the amount of people in the room. People’s children are being eaten in front of them and they don’t seem to care.

I legitimately love the cast (for the most part) and was not expecting a straightforward horror movie, but this was just too nonsensical. And I love nonsensical. I spent the entire film thinking outside of it in order to figure it out. I would not recommend this even for a fun, bad flick.

 

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31 Days of Horror – “Trick ‘r Treat”

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Trick ‘r Treat (2007)  

Directed by: Michael Dougherty

Starring: Anna Paquin and Brian Cox

Review by Eric Scot Lemons

Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology based entirely on Halloween by director, Michael Dougherty. He also directed Krampus and Krampus sucked a lot of dick for various reasons, but I still decided to watch Trick ‘r Treat because I love Halloween and like horror anthologies. As far as horror anthologies go, this is a good one. Each short film is fun and plays well on the traditions generally associated with the holiday. I will now review each film within the film.

The opening was a nice short set-piece that really sets up in gory fantasm what can be expected from the film. While Trick ‘r Treat in general is pretty preachy about either respect for the dead or respect for the holiday, this one is probably the most blatant, seeing a young woman who despises the holiday killed in a fashion befitting the holiday.

The Principal features Dylan Baker doing what he does best, being a creepy as fuck paternal figure. This story, I felt, was too long to really sell the eventual pitch and the comedy, though dark, is pretty one note.

The School Bus Massacre Revisited had the most potential and fell flat. I could rarely understand the setting and the story doesn’t evolve enough for one to care about characters. The monsters are cool and the frights are fun though.

Surprise Party features a play on the Little Red Riding Hood story in which we see Anna Paquin being hunted by a black figure, but surprise, she is the werewolf and he is Dylan Baker being a creep again. The werewolf transformation is cool as shit.

Meet Sam features the little pumpkin-headed motherfucker trying to kill Brian Cox in his house and though the story isn’t that interesting, the sequence is super funny and playful in a gory horror way. The reveal of Sam’s true self is well-done and visually awesome.

Overall, the acting was great and the plot development solid. A great viewing for any October 31st celebration.